App, Tech Tips, Viber

So Viber Is Now Blocked?! Here Are 10 Alternatives!

Banning Viber will probably help Google more than anything, since people in KSA are probably busy searching ways on how to by-pass the block that Communications and Information Technology Commission placed on Viber. The most common work-around is to use a VPN software or just switch to another messaging platform.

Using a VPN software that will trick your or what-ever-monitoring system they are using here in KSA into thinking that you’re using an IP that’s from another country. But that will only work if you’re dedicate what’s left of your bandwidth for viber, since VPN software usually reduce your bandwidth (speed) by 45% to more than 50%.

The easiest way to by-pass the block is to just switch to another messaging service, so here are 10 VoIP-based messaging service that can be an alternative to Viber.

Google Hangout

google-hangout

Google Hangout is Google’s messaging service that’s integrated within Outlook.com, Gmail and Google Plus. If you’ve been a netizen for a longtime, chances are you already have a Google account, so no need to open a new one for Google Hangout. Before being rebranded as Google Hangout, the service was known as Google Talk.

Features: SMS/IM, Group Chat, Video call, Group Video Chat (up to 10 friends)
Platform: Computer, Android, iOS
Website: Google.com

Tango

tango

Tango – according to it’s website – is “the leading all-in-one social networking app, enables you to connect with friends and stay closer to family in a way that is easy, spontaneous, fun and fits the moment.” It’s one of the app that we actually use.

You can use the app just like using your phone, plus it has games.

Features: SMS/IM, Group Chat, Video call and message, Photo sharing, Voice call
Platform: Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7.5, PC
Website: Tango.me

Skype

skype

Skype is one of the first, if not the FIRST VoIP service and chances are you are already using this on your PC and this is probably the service that all the other apps/messaging service that I have listed are copying. Skype is now owned by Microsoft and it’s also integrated within Outlook.com and it’s the same service that being used by the FB videochat.

Another great thing about Skype is that it’s not limited to just PC, Smartphones and Tablets, it’s also available on those other devices like Smart TV, Blu-ray player, TV Cam and PlayStation®Vita – that’s right if you have a PS Vita then you can use that to Skype.

Features: SMS/IM, Voice Call/Messaging, Video Call/Messaging, Media (photos, videos and files) Sharing
Platform: Windows, Windows 8, Linux, Mac, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10, Kindle Fire HD,
Download: skype.com/en/download-skype/
Website: Skype.com

Facebook Messenger

fb-msg

You may not know it but you are already using FB Messenger, the moment you initiate a chat or send a message to any of your FB friends, you are already using FB Messenger.

The FB Messenger that I’m talking about is a free stand-alone and dedicated mobile app service from Facebook. If your using Firefox, you can also turn on the Facebook messenger for Firefox, that allows you to be on FB Messenger even if you’re on another web site and chances are your family, friends and love-one have a facebook account, so asking them to switch to FB Messenger won’t be a problem.

Features: SMS/IM, Group Chat, Video Call, Media (photos, videos and files) Sharing
Platform: Firefox, Windows (Vista, 7 or XP), BlackBerry, iOS, Android
Website: Facebook.com

Yahoo Messenger

ym

Yahoo Messenger (YM) is one of the first messenger that I use, even though I have accounts to other messaging platform, Yahoo Messenger is the only IM service that I keep online. Plus you can chat with Facebook Friends using YM! and I bet YM is the first IM service that you use to video chat a friend or a family! YM is also integrated with Yahoo Mail.

Of all the messaging service that I have here YM! is the only service that you can use even if you are just using a feature phone, since you can use the Yahoo! Messenger for SMS, where you can use text messaging shortcuts to sign in, sign out, change your status, see who’s online, send a message or reply to friends.

Features: SMS/IM, Voice call (PC to PC call), Video Call, Video Conference, Group Chat, File transfer (up to 2 GB), Photo sharing – complete list of features here.
Platform: Windows (XP, Vista, 7), Mac, Web (Java), Android, iOS, BlackBerry, YM for SMS, YM for Phone, BlackBerry OS 10
Website: Yahoo! Messenger

Line

line-app

The Line Messenger was originally from Japan and making its way to other countriess and last February, it was launched in the Philippines.

LINE is a FREE proprietary instant messaging application for smartphones and PCs developed by Naver Japan. Currently have more than 100 million users in more than 231 countries, and was ranked as no.1 app in 41 App Store locations worldwide. In addition to sending text messages, with Line App you can exchange images, video, audio media messages and make free VoIP calls over Wifi or 3G connection.

Features: IM\SMS, Media (photos, videos and files) Sharing, Voice Call and Message, Video Message, Group Chat (up to 100 people)
Platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone (8 and 7.5), BlackBerry, Nokia Asha, Mac OSX, Windows (XP, Vista, 7), Windows 8
Website: Naver

BlackBerry Messenger

BlackBerry-Messenger

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is the proprietary Internet-based instant messenger and videotelephony application included on BlackBerry devices and was used to be an exclusive service for Blackberry owner.

Last May, the company announced that BBM will now be available to iOS and Android users opening the service to other mobile platform for the first time. The iOS and Android version is yet to be announced by the company but is was previously reported that it should be available this month (June 2013).

Features: Video call (Wifi), SMS/IM, Message Status, Media (music, photos, videos and files) Sharing, Share location, Group chat, Voice call
Platform: BlackBerry (pre-installed on BB OS 10), Android (TBA), iOS (TBA)
Website: BBM

AOL Instant Messenger

aim

AOL Instant Messenger was probably the longest and first messenger that I’ve ever used and one of the company who popularize IMs. AOL Instant Messenger is different from the AOL software with also has an IM feature, AOL which own AOL Instant Messenger, was also the home of the very first messaging software ICQ.

AIM integrated within AOL Mail, plus you can chat with your Facebook friends, Google Talk (Hangout), tweet using AIM, preview your Gmail inbox as well as your friends photo on instagram.

Features: Group Chat, SMS/IM, Video chat, Media (music, photos, videos and files) Sharing, Social notification, Tweet from AIM
Platform: Web, Windows, Mac, iPad, iOS, Android
Website: AIM.Com

WhatsApp

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a cross-platform instant messaging application for smartphones, of all the messaging app that I know this is (so far) the only app the a KSA-based telecom is endorsing. Mobily have been actively in promoting the app to all it’s subscribers, they even have a package they’re calling WhatsApp Plus Package.

Features: SMS/IM, Group Chat, Location Sharing, Photo and Video Sharing
Platform: iOS, Android, Symbian, Nokia S40, Windows Phone (8 and 7.5), BlackBerry
Website: Whatsapp.com

WeChat

WeChat

WeChat is one of the messaging app that starting to pickup in the Philippines, the feature of the app is not as different as the other app or services that I listed here. The difference however is that you can use your Facebook account to login to WeChat.

Features: IM/SMS, Group Chat, Video call, Voice Chat, Web chat, FB connect, complete list of features here.
Platform:iOS, Android, Windows Phone (8 and 7.5), Nokia S40/keyboard/touch, BlackBerry 5/6+
Website: WeChat.com

Other notable app that you can try are Snapchat, Hoozin, GroupMe and KakaoTalk, as well as iMessage and Facetime from Apple.

I cannot actually recommend which app to use, because most of the feature of the apps that you see here are pretty much identical and it’s just a matter of preference and which service is available in your region though I’m sure that all of them are globally available and also there’s no assurance that these messaging service that I listed and the one that you will be switching to is not yet block by the Saudi Government or your Government.

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