Discord has become ubiquitous as the go-to VoIP program for users wanting a means of chatting, coordinating, or otherwise keeping up with their many social circles. While originally oriented toward the gaming community, Discord has spiked to 140 million monthly users since the pandemic, with friend groups and project teams alike flocking to the free-to-use app’s complete package of voice communication, text channels, screen-sharing, bot integration, and ease of invitation for new members.
While Discord’s service capabilities and broad appeal are commendable, its reliability — particularly that of its API — has its moments. With the occasional outage, it pays to keep backup alternatives in the case of Discord going down.
Slack: The professional’s choice
With a more sophisticated appearance than that of Discord’s “Wumpus” branding, Slack orients itself heavily toward the working world. This option takes after Discord heavily in both functions and appearance. Text channels are aligned along a left sidebar, flanking the text and image-based conversations that take front and center. Features like in-text threads, emoji-based reactions, and built-in typography features make a return from the trendsetter as well.
Where Slack differs from Discord is in its file management system. Based on the payment plan that the host opts into for their server, workspaces can store anywhere from 5GB to 20GB of important files for communal access, making the app perfect for group projects if Discord were to falter.
Related: How to fix Discord connection issues
Zoom: The teacher’s pet
Before disillusioned college students click off of this article, let us first present Zoom’s biggest strength as a VoIP — instant access.
Zoom meetings can be quickly organized and accessed by anyone provided with the connection link. In a pinch, a temporary Zoom room can reconnect friends and colleagues for the length of Discord’s occasional outages.
Mumble: The archaic predecessor
Mumble comes from an era of VoIP-integrated gaming that predates the commonalities of webcams and screen-sharing. As such, it lacks many of the amenities often associated with Discord, such as in-text media embedding. In fact, Mumble won’t allow users to read or respond to text-based messages in a server if those users aren’t first connected through voice.
But for what Mumble lacks in quality of life, it more than makes up for in audio. A more simplistic and low-latency program, Mumble’s audio quality narrowly outmatches that of the more multifaceted Discord.
Factoring in features like linking and unlinking the audio of different voice channels, as well as the more complex third-party proximity chat mods, make for a superior program when strictly looking for better in-game communication. One caveat though — most quality Mumble servers require a monthly service fee. Is Discord back up and running?