Alternatives for Skype

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Snap
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Alternatives for Skype

Postby Snap » 10 Dec 2014 09:26

Like many other things out there in the network, Skype spies on us. And to make it even uglier, it now belongs to Microsoft.

Is there a life without Skype? Yes, read on:

(I don't have any credit on this. Just copied and pasted contributions from various members in the KaOS forum).
Skype alternatives.

A wonderfull, crosrplattform Video Chat Service for Chrome and Firefox, based on open source Tech: palava.tv

Also take a look at: http://www.linphone.org

https://appear.in/

https://talky.io/

Jitsi is no longer just a voip app, also great webbased voice/video/conference tool:

https://jitsi.org/Projects/JitsiMeet

https://wiki.tox.im/Main_Page - secure messenger with audio and video chat capabilities.

qTox - Tox client with A/V chat and file transfer.

https://vline.com/ - One more WebRTC based Videochat, work with Chrome, Firefox and the new Opera.

Yet another full webbrowser-based (but needs an account): https://subrosa.io/
I know, I know. Many folks don't want to move from what they know and are used to. I tried to convince friends and relatives to switch to anything else and only one... yes, just one, followed me and tried a different way to chat. Result: I don't chat anymore. 8-) But if you still need to use Skype and accept to be tracked, just install it. Or if you already use Chrome (don't know if it works for Chromium, guess not) try this alternative and avoid installing an extra app.
I could emulate Skype through the Archon Custom Runtime on Kaos by emulating the app for android. Works great all functions. Below the steps I took to get skype on Kaos:

1. Install Google Chrome

2. Download and unzip the file 64-bit version of Archon Custom Runtime following the instructions on page below.

https://github.com/vladikoff/chromeos-a ... /archon.md

3. In Google Chrome go to "Settings" and "Extensions".

4. Check the "Developer mode" box and "Load expanded extension"

5. Browse to till the unzipped folder Archon Custom Runtime.

6. Search, download and unzip the file skype on the site:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... g&sle=true

7. Install as expanded extension in the same way as it did with Archon Custom Runtime.

8. Restart the browser, Skype will appear on the Google Chrome application tab!

Works well, including the icon in the notification area. In the same table where the skype, are available several android apps you may want to test.

Sorry my English, I'm better speaking Portuguese! :)

have a fun!!

-gravitacoes.
WebGl is supposed to be supported by current Firefox and Chrome releases. It works fine here (Firefox), but just in case, If you have errors check if your browser settings allow webGl.

http://oos.moxiecode.com/js_webgl/snake/

Hope it helps someone.
This likely means that your installation is broken. -Mr Pixbuf.

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Zill
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Zill » 10 Dec 2014 11:53

Snap wrote:...I know, I know. Many folks don't want to move from what they know and are used to. I tried to convince friends and relatives to switch to anything else and only one... yes, just one, followed me and tried a different way to chat. Result: I don't chat anymore. 8-) But if you still need to use Skype and accept to be tracked, just install it. Or if you already use Chrome (don't know if it works for Chromium, guess not) try this alternative and avoid installing an extra app...
I don't really see the need for video "chat" myself but have experimented with these things in the past. Linphone generally works well using SIP but WebRTC, as the "new kid on the block", shows promise as it requires less user configuration. I don't use Chrome but found Chromium seemed to work well with WebRTC and was also interoperable with Firefox.

The downside to WebRTC is that it requires more resources than a SIP client and so demands good machines whereas Linphone/SIP can run on low-powered netbooks.

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Snap
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Snap » 10 Dec 2014 12:07

Good point. Thanks, Zill.
This likely means that your installation is broken. -Mr Pixbuf.

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freecicero
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby freecicero » 26 Dec 2014 18:50

Thank you VERY much for posting this! I need Skype and that has been a significant problem for me, not to be able to get it to work in SolydX. I haven't connected a call yet but things are looking good so thanks very much for posting this!!!

(Now if you could just point me in the right direction to getting a remastersys-like program to work!!)

Deleted User 2764

Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 22 Jan 2015 17:55

What I would like to see is some service that is no or low cost and allows audio phone calls to any landline or 800# in the USA.

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Zill
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Zill » 22 Jan 2015 18:04

RavenLX wrote:What I would like to see is some service that is no or low cost and allows audio phone calls to any landline or 800# in the USA.
Good idea! It would be even better if the phone companies would pay us to place a call over their infrastructure. Now there's a business opportunity for someone... ;-)

galen
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby galen » 09 Jul 2015 17:25

Pidgin with plugins

Deleted User 2764

Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 09 Jul 2015 18:02

What plugins?

galen
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby galen » 11 Jul 2015 01:48

voice & video
I am amazed no one uses it

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Arjen Balfoort
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 11 Jul 2015 06:17

galen wrote:voice & video
I am amazed no one uses it
Again, your remarks are not of much help.
If you cannot help then don't post anything.


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ilu
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby ilu » 11 Jul 2015 15:22

I tried to use jitsi with ostel. It seems to work on my side. But sadly all my contacts can't get it to work (bugs out on Mac, provider blocks ports and some problems we couldn't even identify)
If anybody wants to give it a try, install jitsi, get an account wth ostel (or another free provider if you know one) and contact me, I would love to try further.
I won't allow skype on my system ...

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MAYBL8
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby MAYBL8 » 11 Jul 2015 16:30

What do suggest for people that want to skype with people that have Macs, iPads, Windows or Andriod devices?
Me on Linux and them on whatever device or computer they have.


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Zill
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Zill » 11 Jul 2015 19:58

MAYBL8: For "people that want to skype" then the solution is obvious - use Skype!

For video chat without Skype, there are alternative VOIP protocols such as SIP, XMPP and Jingle. Linux clients for these protocols include Linphone and Jitsi, both of which also run on Android, Windows and Mac OS.

However, if you (and the other party) have a modern browser, such as Firefox, Chrome/Chromium or Opera, then you can use WebRTC straight out of the box - no additional software or plugins required!

While WebRTC is still under heavy development, it is quite workable at the moment. Here are a few links to try it out with:

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ilu
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby ilu » 12 Jul 2015 13:10

"To skype" obviously became a synonym for "to phone" - that's the highest honor a product and it's marketing can reach IMHO.
All the applications mentioned for skyping without skype are available for different platforms. Jitsi sees to work fine, but since it's a SIP program it needs a provider and uses dedicated ports and the problems start somewhere in between. Skype is very cleverly programmed in a a way that can't be blocked by access providers (and admins).
I'm unsure about WebRTC. Since it's a privacy risk I blocked it in Firefox. To use it I would need another browser ... I hate using all-in-wonders, I prefer the philosophy of one-task-one-program which is exactly the opposite to WebRTC. It is said to be peer-to-peer but the links you posted look like providers? They all turn up empty for me, there is no explaination about the technology they use. Wikipedia did not help much either. And searches for "WebRTC privacy" turn up a lot about the known IP leak but not anything else.

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Zill
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Zill » 12 Jul 2015 14:07

ilu wrote:"To skype" obviously became a synonym for "to phone" - that's the highest honor a product and it's marketing can reach IMHO.
It may be brilliant marketing but it is not factually correct. The number of Brits who always call a vacuum cleaner a Hoover, irrespective of make, always dismays me. :-(
ilu wrote:Jitsi sees to work fine, but since it's a SIP program it needs a provider and uses dedicated ports and the problems start somewhere in between.
Yes, SIP does need a registrar to act as a common "directory" service but the actual communication is then peer to peer. It usually works OK as long as you use a STUN server for NAT traversal.
ilu wrote:I'm unsure about WebRTC. Since it's a privacy risk I blocked it in Firefox.
Why? Do you really think it is less private than Skype? :o
ilu wrote:To use it I would need another browser ... I hate using all-in-wonders, I prefer the philosophy of one-task-one-program which is exactly the opposite to WebRTC.
I agree! However, if VOIP is built into the browser (albeit with the ability to disable it if required) then surely this simplifies video calling for many users. No need to mess about installing additional software or worrying about configuration.
ilu wrote:It is said to be peer-to-peer but the links you posted look like providers? They all turn up empty for me, there is no explaination about the technology they use. Wikipedia did not help much either. And searches for "WebRTC privacy" turn up a lot about the known IP leak but not anything else.
As with SIP, you do need a common party to establish the initial communication between two (or more) parties. WebRTC is an open-source project built on open-source software and so should be as secure as it can get! I am puzzled by your comment about the links "turning up empty" as all you need to do is create your own unique address, give it to one or more friends and then start video chatting! What could be simpler? ;-)

kurotsugi
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby kurotsugi » 12 Jul 2015 14:41

I think ilu's arguments is a valid point. if I know your IP address I can put a listener on your IP and obtain every information send/received to that IP. by "every" I means "everything". emails, texchat, which site you visit, what content did you saw...everything. open source didn't guarantee your security.

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Zill
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Zill » 12 Jul 2015 19:21

As I said earlier, WebRTC is still under heavy development and, being open-source, efforts are being made to close any security loopholes. e.g. Mozilla Bug 959893 - WebRTC Internal IP Address Leakage.

Having said that, ! would put more faith in open-source privacy than that provided by the closed-source, proprietary, Skype software!

Of course, we are all free to choose which software (open or closed source) we run. ;-)

kurotsugi
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby kurotsugi » 12 Jul 2015 20:17

webrtc is the technology while video chat is one of the implementation. even if the issue on the tecnology side got resolved there's quite lot of unknown stuff on either the technology and the implementation side. it would be nice if you could enlight us on this matter since our biggest issue with webrtc videochat is that we know too little information about it :3

personally I'd like to know about:
- how the connection was made
- is the communication encrypted or not
- how the communication encrypted.

I've played with it several times on my browser but I still can't figure about those stuff above. additionally somehow this feature suddenly gone with the latest firefox update. is mozilla abandone their hello project?

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Zill
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby Zill » 12 Jul 2015 22:24

kurotsugi: As I have no real use for video chat, I have only experimented with VOIP, including WebRTC, for test purposes. Accordingly, I have picked up a superficial knowledge of WebRTC from a few internet articles. However, it seems to me that this is the future of VOIP and will, effectively, make Skype redundant.

My perception is that, while WebRTC is still far from perfect, it does seem to tackle many of the popular concerns regarding VOIP systems, such as connectivity and security.

From "Is WebRTC Secure?":
Security and encryption is not an optional WebRTC feature, as it has native built-in features that address security concerns. What’s more, WebRTC offers end-to-end encryption between peers on almost any server ensuring safe, private and secure real-time communications.
The WebRTC specification is here: "WebRTC 1.0: Real-time Communication Between Browsers"

More info here: "Getting Started with WebRTC"

p.s. Firefox Hello is still present on my Firefox v39.0 :?

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ilu
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Re: Alternatives for Skype

Postby ilu » 12 Jul 2015 22:56

Why? Do you really think it is less private than Skype?
No of course not. I don't let Skype onto my computer. The OP asked about and I was talking about skype alternatives. I would like to endorse Jitisi combined with a SIP like ostel https://dev.guardianproject.info/projects/ostel/wiki, I'm just dismayed that my contacts can't get it to work and I could not figure out why (via telephone diagnostics).
That's why WebRTC looks promising to me. (It seems you can even skype via WebRTC now, http://blogs.skype.com/2014/11/14/pleas ... -web-beta/.) But as long as Firefox doesn't fix the WebRTC Internal IP Address Leakage bug, I have to keep it disabled in my daily used brower. (And in that case the pages you posted refuse to work). Installing another browser would be a possibility - I would like to test it. Can I have Iceweasel and Firefox on my system without them getting mixed up? - I can't find anything about a parallel install.
Or does somebody know a dedicated software for WebRTC? There is some talk about that at stackoverflow.com, which I naturally can't understand, but it seems that there is/was interest in development. There also is libjs-jssip in the debian repos which might be a step on that way.


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