I think I wrote about Skype a few months ago – but I thought I’d write again now that I’ve been using it for 6 weeks.
Skype (http://www.skype.com) is a phone service that lets you make cheap long distance phone calls through your computer. You need
- to sign up for an account
- a way to talk (microphone) and listen (speakers or headphones)
- an Internet connection
That’s it – you’re set up. Once you’re signed up you can call other Skype users for free..
If you upgrade to SkypePro, you can call any phone cheaply. It’s two cents a minute for me to call the US from Ireland. Upgrading costs about $25 a year. (Sorry for the estimates all of my pricing is now in Euros.)
A SkypeIn account gives you a phone number – originating from whatever county you choose. Friends, family, and clients can then call you for free (assuming the number is local to them) on your Skype In account. Skype in costs about $50 a year – unless you upgrade to SkypePro first – then it’s cheaper. The very nice thing is that you also get voicemail. So if you call me and I’m not around you can leave a message.
There are more featured – such as video phone service, which just requires a web cam and apparently you can get temporary SkypToGo numbers – which I should look into if I ever meet anyone in Dublin who wants my number.
The quality of the service is pretty good. When it works it works very well – but I have seen the audio cut out suddenly where either I can’t hear or be heard. I find that hanging up and calling back seems to work well to fix the connection.