ClearSea vs Skype
Last updated: April 08, 2018
A fully hosted and managed service for professional video conferencing on any network and any device. With ClearSea you can have videocalls with any standards-based H.323 or SIP equipment, such as Lifesize, Polycom or Cisco/Tandberg
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messaging, file transfer, and videoconferencing. Skype alternative for enterprise is called Skype for Business. Secure Skype alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
Face to face in the news:
2014 - Skype makes group video calls free to strike back at ClearSea
Until now, group video calling in Skype was available only in the premium accounts, which cost $8.99/month. Now this feature will be available for free so you'll be able to organize unlimited online meetings with up to 10 participants. For a while the free group video calling is only available in the desktop version (Windows and Mac) and on Xbox. Soon Microsoft will add it to the mobile versions (iOS, Android and Windows Phone). This video shows how to start a group video call. Recall that not so long ago one of Skype's competitors - GoToMeeting also launched free video chat for 3 participants.
2011 - Logitech launched one more video-calling service for SMB to strike back at Skype
Three years ago Logitech, the largest webcam manufacturer, decided that it's silly - to supply webcams for a half of computers in the world and not to earn on what happens between these webcams - i.e. on video calls. Since then the company is trying to compete either with Cisco in the upper market segment or with Skype in the lower. Logitech has built the video-calling program Vid into their webcams, acquired videoconferencing service SightSpeed, acquired the manufacturer of videoconferencing equipment LifeSize, and this summer - acquired another videoconferencing system developer - Mirial. Recently, the result of this latest acquisition appeared - ClearSea. Why is it interesting for SMB?
First of all, unlike Skype it allows to make free video calls with three participants. Of course, there are many other video services that support even larger number of users for free. But ClearSea works on Windows and Mac and iOS and Android. You can use screen-sharing and application-sharing during the video call. In addition, ClearSea uses the standard protocols H.323 and SIP and therefore can connect to any standard video conferencing equipment. True, in the free version these calls to SIP/H.323 equipment can take up to 5 minutes.
The paid ClearSea version, that costs $29/month removes this limitation and enhances the quality of video from CIF (352x288) to 4CIF (704x576). The professional version allows to make video calls in FullHD (1080p) and encrypt the traffic, which is very important for security-obsessed companies.