If you're looking for an easy-to-use, privacy-friendly alternative to Microsoft's Skype, you might want to try Jami:
You can also follow them on here at:
It's free, open and distributed, and available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux.
It has no servers, calls are connected directly peer-to-peer over an encrypted connection.
@switchingsocial you don't happen to know a browser chat that is encrypted where i can just share the link with someone (i know browser chats should not be used for critical stuff but …). like the good old crypto cat? though that might have been an addon?
Unfortunately haven't heard of anything quite like it since.
One work-around: You _could_ use Wire's web/browser interface, using a throwaway email to sign-up for an account?
@switchingsocial @RLetot @Jami For video chat it also works really well and allows you to tweak your codecs and resolution if needed. It's the only FOSS solution that I've gotten my family to understand how to use. It's not without quirks. The weak link is offline messaging. But they recently added a serverless voicemail feature, which as far as I know is pretty unique. They also have made slow steady progress and a minimal amount of drama.
@banjofox I would suggest #Riot as a #Discord replacement rather than #Jami. The voice calls on Jami are pretty good (haven't tested video yet), especially for a serverless app, but it's not great for text chat and currently has no group text chat feature (although group voice calls are possible. I'm curating a list of free code replacements for proprietary team chat apps:
@banjofox hmm. It's possible I'm failing to understand how Discord is used (having never used it). I was under the impression it's predominantly a text chat room system, like Slack or Riot. Are you saying it's more like a voice conference system? In which case, have you tried #Mumble? The voice chat in Riot uses a plugin to connect to a #JitsiMeet server hosted at #Matrix.org. It's pretty centralized. I'd love to see them implement the #Jami protocol for voice/ video chat instead.
Discord is like Slack
Anyone can set up a "Server"
Each server has its own channels
Some channels allow voice communication.
@banjofox OK. Slack+voice. That does sound pretty similar to Riot. A Mumble server is basically like IRC+voice. It has channels (both temporary and persistent) which all allow voice chat just by joining them, as well as a text chat box, but like IRC it has no history or persistence. That probably doesn't matter for gaming though, right? Which is what Mumble was designed for.
The primary goal was to -hopefully- find something with lower bandwidth/higher audio quality for podcast recording.
Getting my co-host upgraded equipment helped a bit ;)
Plus the entire rest of our gaming group uses Discord, so there are very few reasons to switch platforms (I.e create /more/ accounts)
How reliable is it? What I mean by that is how reliably do calls connect, have both video and audio come up on both sides and stay in sync?
To me, that is Skype's killer feature, more than video/sound quality.
I try to use the alternatives, and currently use Wire, but most seem to suffer from a fair degree of calls that never ring on the other side, calls with missing audio/video or where the audio and video lose sync.
I've used Jami regularly for a while now and for me it's been as reliable as Skype.
But your experience may vary, because you are a different person calling different people.
It's difficult to say a VOIP service is "reliable" vs "non reliable", because there seems to be a lot of variation between people's experiences.
For example, I have never, ever, been able to get Jitsi Meet to work *at all*. But I know a lot of people use it, so I still recommend people try it.
However, that's the problem: Most of these applications are written by developers in countries, that both afford them the luxury of time (to develop it), and a greater degree, of freedom of speech. That means, they are never tested under less than "ideal" conditions, or in restrictive networks.
@Blort I haven't tried video yet, but all my experiences with voice calls have been pretty good. For example, see the testing report from the VOICE group's test of group voice chat on Jami a few week ago:
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