Skype is the go to service when we want to make calls over the internet. Provided you have a fairly decent internet connection you can get good video and voice quality from it. As a free user, Skype is great for one-on-one calls such as job interviews or getting in touch with family. If, however, you want to make conference calls you need to upgrade. There are alternatives out there to Skype and Speek is one of them. This service is geared towards the business community and it’s meant to make conference calls extremely easy. To be clear, these are voice calls and not video calls. You alone need to have an account to initiate a conference call and other people can join in for free. The service has mobile apps for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone so you make or join calls from your desktop or on the go.
Sign up to use the service and you get a user specific URL that you will share with anyone you want to invite to a call. It’s user friendly so you can easily text it. The user can join on their mobile device or from their browser, provided they use Chrome. No other browsers are supported at this time.
You can invite others either by giving them the URL to your account or by inviting them via phone number though it appears this feature has some geographical restrictions. The service lets you send IMs as well as share files in the conference call. You can mute your mic and add other people to the conference call using their phone number during the call.
As the person who initiated the call, you can remove an attendee from the conference call or mute them i.e. mute the sound from their mic for all other attendees. On the free plan, you get a log of your call history which shows you how many calls were made, when a call was made, any files shared during that call, and how many people were in it. The free plan has a 5 person limit.
Paid plans include ones for personal use and business use. If you’re looking for screen sharing features, they are slated to be added soon to the business plan. A premium plan also lets you record your calls. The voice quality of the service is fairly good and we encountered little to no lag in message transmission.
Since we started out with comparing Speek to Skype, let’s return to our initial comparison. Speek is not the same as Skype in that it does not let you make video calls. What it does do is let you make conference calls and if you’re conferencing with clients who are likely to have a Skype account, joining a Speek call is literally just a few clicks and no signing in or signing up.