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But there is a great number of other free applications that fall under IP telephony (internet protocol telephony; also known as Voice over IP or Vo IP).

As with Skype, these programs can be used in order to communicate with other users via a video transmission.

Meanwhile, the free version of Skype has been widely criticized for its low level of security; despite the many advantages mentioned above, this controversial issue is generally considered to be the program’s Achilles’ heel.

This can be seen in the following list of pros and cons: Available across many different platforms (clients for Windows, mac OS, Linux, Android, i OS, Windows Mobile/Phone, Blackberry and more).

When it comes to programs for making a video call, most people automatically turn to Skype as the go-to solution.

Launched in 2003, Skype is now the world’s foremost online video conference application.

Another central Skype feature is its instant messaging service, which can be used to exchange messages, files and much more.

One major advantage of this function is that the messages can be edited or deleted after they’ve been sent.

It’s also possible to use this instant messenger to send files (images, documents, etc.) and exchange contact information.

Additionally, it’s possible to invite other Skype users to view the display on a screen via screen-sharing.

In addition, the majority of these Skype alternatives can be used free of charge, and some even boast more features and data protection measures than the market leader itself.

But which of these applications are really worthwhile?

For example, the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, revealed that the US-based secret service, NSA, can obtain direct access to any Skype conversation via Microsoft.

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