Discord and Teamspeak are two very popular software applications used especially by gamers but also by other people who want to communicate with others over the internet.
Both applications use VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) so people can communicate with friends and strangers over the internet.
However, these two applications are very different. You may prefer one over the other, based on the qualities and features of each one.
A few weeks ago, we compared Teamspeak with Mumble which is another VoIP platform but today, it’s Discord against Teamspeak.
Let’s see how they measure up for different purposes and in different aspects. I will help you understand which one to choose, based on your needs.
What is Teamspeak?
Teamspeak is a VoIP software designed mainly for online gaming. It allows users to join channels and chat with other online gamers who are playing the same game.
It’s an excellent way to communicate – Teamspeak focuses on audio chat as opposed to other forms of communication, though text chat is available too.
Teamspeak also focuses on providing high audio quality and military-grade security for users.
Since users communicate via audio chat, they can keep their hands on their gaming controls. It’s mostly used by people playing the same multi-user video game.
Here’s how it works: Users download the Teamspeak client and use it to connect to the Teamspeak server of their choice. Once they do that, they can join various chats and chat via audio with other users.
Unlike most of its alternatives, Teamspeak has been around for a long time, as it was released back in 2001. It was originally one of the most popular VoIP services for gamers, and many gamers still use it, resisting the trend of switching over to Discord.
What Is Discord?
Discord is also a VoIP application that people can use to communicate with each other online. Unlike Teamspeak, it focuses not only on audio chat but also on video chat and text messages.
Discord users join servers, which are like online communities where people can chat with each other via text message, voice chat, and video chat.
In addition, it works like regular social media channels in that you set up a profile and can communicate with other profiles directly (this is known as direct messaging or private messaging).
You do this outside of a traditional server or community, and you can even hold private group chats with a few people at once, sort of like you can do on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
Discord is used not only by gamers but by people who are interested in all kinds of topics.
For example, Redditors use it to communicate and share tips about upcoming “hot” stocks or cryptocurrency assets off Reddit, and YouTubers create servers/communities, so their fans can get to know each other and communicate with each other.
Discord is somewhat newer than Teamspeak, having been released in 2015 as opposed to 2001.
However, it has grown very rapidly and is currently one of the most popular – if not the most popular – VoIP application for communicating with others.
Also Read: Best FireRTC Alternatives
Teamspeak vs Discord: Ease Of Use For Non-Technical People
First, I will discuss whether Teamspeak or Discord is easier to use and get started with. If you are not a technical person, which application is better suited for you?
Teamspeak generally requires more technical knowledge than Discord.
To get started, you will have to first download the Teamspeak client on your computer from their website.
Then, you will need to enter the server address in the Connections section, choose a nickname, and enter the server password (if there is one).
Not only is Teamspeak harder to set up, but the interface is more confusing, and some people will find it outright ugly.
Discord is much easier to get started with than Teamspeak. You can join any server or community by clicking on the invite link sent to you or posted by a YouTuber, blogger, etc.
Teamspeak is not that difficult to use, once you get the hang of it.
It just requires more of a learning curve than Discord does, so if you are creating a server and targeting non-technical people, you may want to consider using Discord instead of Teamspeak.
The Discord interface is easier to navigate and provides a smoother user experience than Teamspeak’s interface.
Teamspeak vs Discord: Text Messaging And Video Chatting
What if you don’t want to limit yourself to audio chat? What if you want to send text messages too or chat via video?
Teamspeak is a “speaking” application for “teams” (clans and groups of video game players). It is not an application you can use for video chats.
So, if you only need to use VoIP for voice and text chats, Teamspeak is a great application to use.
On the other hand, if you need something more than that, Discord is the way to go.
Teamspeak does allow you to send text messages to the server and to individual users instead of voice chats, but it is primarily set up and designed for voice chats as opposed to text chats.
Discord goes beyond audio chat and lets you communicate with text messages or with video chats. You can even have two separate channels open at once, one for audio chat and one for text messaging.
The text messaging feature allows you to share pictures and video clips easily. That is something that is lacking on Teamspeak – the ability to quickly and easily share videos and funny images with people on your server.
Discord vs Teamspeak: Off Server Communication
The main way people communicate on both Discord and Teamspeak is by joining a server and communicating with other users on the server.
However, can you also message other users directly, off the server, and keep your conversations private so that the entire server community doesn’t see them?
Teamspeak is based around servers. That’s what it is used for – gamers join servers and communicate with other gamers on the server.
However, you can still send text messages to other users you see on the server by clicking on their names and sending them a message.
However, you must be connected to a server to do this. You can not connect directly to another profile.
However, Teamspeak is not like a social media platform – It’s more of a server/community kind of thing.
As I will explain later, depending on the rules of the server, users can join the server and join in on the discussion without even signing up and creating an account.
This makes it less like a social media platform.
Discord also allows you to communicate directly with other people. It has a server/community aspect, but then it also has a direct messaging aspect.
You can set up a personal profile, and, if you have Discord Nitro, you can even customize it with an animated avatar. You can directly message other people and even set up a group chat with a few people, all messaging each other off the server, in a private chat.
Teamspeak vs Discord: Control
Which platform gives you more control?
Teamspeak is the application to use if you want more control over your server. As they say, your server, your way.
With Teamspeak, you can host your own self-hosted server. You may have to pay for it, depending on how many slots you allow, but you can do it, which gives you more control.
On Discord, on the other hand, you can’t have that level of control. There are a lot of pros for using Discord compared to Teamspeak, but a self-hosted server option as opposed to cloud-based servers is not something that Discord currently offers, and they probably will never offer it in the future, as it is not in their business model.
Discord vs Teamspeak: Plugins
Does either Discord or Teamspeak offer plugin or add-on support to enhance your gaming experience?
Teamspeak does support plugin integration. These plugins can enhance your gaming experience and give you features like 3D audio; these features may be necessary to play certain games.
Go to the Teamspeak add-on library for more information.
Discord doesn’t really offer plugin integration support as Teamspeak does. That is another con of using Discord as opposed to Teamspeak.
That does not mean you can not do it. Discord doesn’t allow this, and it is against their terms of service, but some people do modify the Discord client to allow plugin integration.
There are also plugins available on places like BetterDiscordLibrary.
So, while plugins are available and out there, there is no official support for them, so you will have to do some technical modifications that are not really allowed by Discord’s terms of service to get them to work.
Teamspeak vs Discord: Audio Quality
Which application provides better audio quality for audio chats?
Teamspeak is generally known to provide better audio quality. It prides itself on its audio quality.
Teamspeak provides features like automatic microphone audio adjustment, background noise reduction, and echo cancellation. They also promise lag-free communication.
Discord still has good audio quality. However, it is not nearly as good as Teamspeak’s audio quality.
You may not even notice a difference if you are not an audiophile who pays attention to the minute details. However, if you are, or if there are a lot of people joining an audio chat at once, these lags can start to make a difference.
So, if audio quality is the most important thing to you, and you need crystal clear audio to play your games, you may want to consider using Teamspeak instead of Discord.
Discord vs Teamspeak: Security, Privacy, Permissions, And Anonymity
Which platform provides a better layer of security for its users? If you are concerned about your privacy and anonymity, which application is a better choice for you?
Teamspeak is generally a better application to use for both security and privacy. Teamspeak uses military-grade security.
If you wish, you can enable AES-based encryption on your entire server or on certain channels.
The same goes for permissions. You are in full control over your self-hosted server, and you can use advance permissions to decide who can join and what they can do.
If you ban someone from a Teamspeak server, they will have a really hard time getting back on it; with Discord, it is not as hard as it is with Teamspeak.
Teamspeak is also a better choice when it comes to privacy in general.
Teamspeak does not keep any records of your voice chats or your text messages, and they never share your data with third-party platforms for any purpose.
You can even enjoy full anonymity while using Teamspeak.
As I mentioned before, if you allow it on your server and do not require a server password, anyone who has your server IP address can connect to your server and join in on the discussion.
You may not want to allow anonymity on your server, and you don’t have to, but the possibility exists.
Decentralization is all the craze now, with decentralized currencies like Bitcoin and decentralized finance moving to the forefront of the financial system.
If decentralization is something that you care a lot about, consider using Teamspeak.
While Teamspeak itself is not a decentralized company, the servers are self-hosted on individual, private computers.
This decentralized nature means that you can host a server anywhere, and you don’t have to be tied to centralized company servers, which means your data is safer.
Discord generally doesn’t have security measures that are as tough as Teamspeak. Nevertheless, security is still decent.
Discord even has a Bug Bounty system, where it encourages users to test for vulnerabilities and be rewarded for reporting them.
This system helps keep Discord bug-free, and it allows security issues to be cleared up quickly.
Discord is also more of a centralized company, with cloud-hosted servers. This means that they have more access to your communications, such as your text chats.
If you are concerned about privacy, Discord is not as good of an option as Teamspeak.
Also, Discord does not let you be completely anonymous like Teamspeak does. You can set your status to be invisible and offline, but you can’t enjoy full anonymity like you can on Teamspeak.
Teamspeak vs Discord: Stability
Which company offers better stability?
Teamspeak is known to offer more stability than Discord. Discord is known to crash at times; since servers are in the cloud, this can happen, especially since Discord is often a target of attacks.
As I just mentioned, Discord can sometimes experience downtimes, which is not as common on Teamspeak.
Teamspeak vs Discord: Mobile App
Does Teamspeak or Discord have a mobile app, and what can you do on that mobile app?
Teamspeak has a mobile app, which you can use to join voice chats.
Discord also has a mobile app, which allows you to join servers and use Discord on your phone instead of on your computer.
I will mention that the Discord app has much better reviews than the Teamspeak app on the Google Play Store, as of the time of this writing. I found that rather interesting.
Discord vs Teamspeak: Pricing
Is Discord or Teamspeak free to use? Or will you have to pay money to use them or set up a server?
Teamspeak is not entirely free to use. If you want to set up a server, you may have to pay for the privilege of being a host.
The amount you will pay will depend on how many users you will allow to join the server you are hosting.
You don’t need to host your own server, so you can use the Teamspeak client without paying.
You can browse any of the public servers and connect to them – there are tons waiting for you once you sign up for Teamspeak.
However, if you do want to host your server, you MAY have to pay money, depending on how many slots you want.
A standard Teamspeak server license is actually free. However, it only allows up to 32 slots (users).
For small clans playing multi-user video games, this is perfect.
You will need your own server hardware (if you don’t, you will have to find a host from the network of Authorized Teamspeak Hosting Providers).
However, what if 32 slots are not enough for your needs? In that case, you will have to pay for a gamer’s license. You will pay as follows:
- 64 slots – $55 a year
- 128 slots – $100 a year
- 256 slots – $175 a year
- 512 slots – $300 a year
- 1024 slots – $500 a year
Always check the Teamspeak pricing page for updated pricing information, as prices are subject to change at any time.
Discord is generally free to use. You will not have to pay to set up a server.
This is one area in which Discord may be superior to Teamspeak.
As I will demonstrate later, though, this might also be a disadvantage, depending on how you look at it – as with all things, free stuff comes with certain limitations.
Often, free stuff doesn’t have great customer support; other times, it doesn’t allow as much customization or is not as secure.
I will go back to this topic later, however.
Discord does have a premium plan, though, called Discord Nitro.
However, it is not something you need to host a server; it is a premium plan that gives you extra perks as a user.
Discord Nitro costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year. Always check the Discord Nitro page for updated pricing information, as pricing can change at any time.
So, what will you get from Discord Nitro as a user? Here are some perks Discord Nitro members get:
- Make custom or animated emojis
- Create an animated avatar for your profile picture
- Support servers with two free server boosts per month, as well as a 30 percent discount on additional server boosts
- Get a profile badge to show how long you have been a Discord Nitro user
- Upload large files – 100MB at once
- Experience HD video streaming
As you can see, most of the perks you get as a Discord Nitro member are for fun, while others are simple enhanced features like bigger file uploads.
Regardless, you don’t need a Discord Nitro membership if you don’t want it, and you can use Discord just fine without it.
There is another version of Discord Nitro as well – Discord Nitro Classic. It has all the perks of Discord Nitro, but you won’t get the free server boosts.
Discord Nitro Classic costs $4.99/month or $49.99/year.
Similarities And Differences
This chart will help you visualize the main differences between Teamspeak and Discord.
I already mentioned many of these in the article, but this should serve as a good summary.
|Text Users Privately||✓||✓|
|Host Your Self Hosted Server||✓||✗|
|Forever Free to Set Up Server||✗ (Free only up to 32 slots)||✓|
|Gamepad and Joystick Hotkey Support||✓||✗|
|Better Permission Controls||✓||✗|
Wrapping It Up: Which Is Better, Discord Or Teamspeak?
There is no clear answer to that, as it depends on your needs. Discord is much more popular and it is free to set up a server.
However, you don’t have as much control over the server, as it is not self-hosted; rather, it is hosted in the cloud.
Because of that, you also enjoy less privacy, and you can not be as sure that your data will not be shared with third-party companies.
Teamspeak also gives you more control over your server in terms of effectively banning people.
For optimal audio quality and stability, and for gaming, choose Teamspeak.
However, Discord might be a better option if you want to set up a free server for something like a Reddit group.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.