Skype Encrypted Alt. SIP Jitsi Combo

Posted: February 7, 2015 at 12:48 am

Skype is a really widely-used voice/video chat program. Its easy and convenient to use, the call quality is quite good, and you probably already know people who use it. Its also owned and controlled by a single company, and you might also not be entirely comfortable with its sketchy security history.

With privacy awareness on the rise (thanks to the recent disclosure of PRISM), Id like to tell you how you can jump from Skype to a free, secure alternative, in three easy steps. But first, lets look at the differences between Skype and SIP, the free alternative.

With Skype, theres one program you use (the Skype client) and it talks over the Skype network, and no one else can write their own software to connect to Skype. If you want to talk to someone on Skype, youve got to use their software and their network.

SIP, by contrast, isnt a piece of software or a company. SIP is a protocol (the Session Initiation Protocol) that defines how voice/video chat programs can connect to each other. Why is this important? Because anyone can write a program that talks SIP, and no single company owns the client or the network. This is why you can find a number of different SIP clients for your smartphone and your desktop PC, and they can all connect to each other.

So, to make the jump from Skype, what youll need is an account with a SIP provider and a SIP client, and thats it. If youre still with me, lets go!

There are a lot of free SIP account providers on the Internet. Some offer services where you can dial regular phones, some offer iNum numbers, some have fancy websites and some are pretty spartan. I like ippi.fr. Heres their English-language home page.

Once youre there, hit that purple Free sign-up! button. Fill out the sign-up form (its pretty quick) and look for a link in your email to complete your registration.

Thats it for the first step. Be sure to remember your username and password, because well need it in a minute.

Next, head on over to Jitsis website, jitsi.org, to grab a free, secure SIP client. This is the program youll run instead of Skype, to make your voice and video calls.

Theres a big blue button in the center of their homepage that says Download Jitsi. That button takes you to their downloads page. Once youre there, look for your OS platform. Click the appropriate link to start your download, and install the program once its done downloading.

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Skype Encrypted Alt. SIP Jitsi Combo

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