Computers & Electronics
43 reviews from the community
Review of "Skype.com"
I first heard about Skype a year or so ago now, it was put over by several friends as a fantastic new way to call people over the internet, using just the Skype software and a mic/headset. I looked into it a bit and couldn't really see much difference between what MSN messenger or Yahoo do. The main difference was that most of my friends had one of the afore mentioned messenger services and not many of them were on Sykpe at that point.I downloaded it but really never used it, that was until I started my new job. Our head office is in Auckland, NZ so we were all equipped with Skype, a headset and a web cam so we can chat for free rather than having to make international calls all the time. The theory of this is of course fantastic, free calls to anyone, anywhere in the world that has Skype on loaded on to their computer. The reality is sadly not as fantastic. Skype to Skype calls are a bit hit and miss. Sometimes they are great, as good as a normal phone, but most of the time there is some delay or the sound can be a bit faint. Still usable though. They say Broadband is an absolute necessity but my Mum, in the UK is still on dial up and we still manage the odd chat but unless you have a good fast broadband connection and a decent spec computer I wouldn't count on it as a regular means of communication.
After using it for work for a while and being fairly pleased with it's performance I decided I was going to do away with having a landline at home, I moved house and thought this was as good a time as any to try life without a fixed line. This would not be suitable for everyone, I use my mobile a lot as do most of my friends and even the ones that have land lines tend not to use them much. My main use for the home phone was to call my family and friends in the UK. Not all the folks back at home are computer friendly so I thought I'd try Skype's 'Skypeout' service. This allows you to buy credit from the Skype website and call normal landlines anywhere in the world for much reduced rates. Purchasing credit is easy and quick, all you need is a credit card and you're credited pretty much straight away.I also treated myself to a cordless Skype phone, which looks rather natty. It's made by Phillips, cost $159 AUD or about 66 of your Great British Pounds. There are different calling rates for different countries all very good value, there are a group of countries including the UK, US, AUS, CA, Argentina and European countries that cost 0.012p a minute to call. Mobiles cost a bit more with, for example, the cost of ringing an Australian mobile ( from anywhere is Aus or the UK) via Skpye is about 12p a minute. Still very reasonable I'm sure you'll agree!
The quality of using Skype to call a landline I've found far superior to regular Skype to Skype calls. There is still the occasional drop out which I guess is related to the variability of your internet connection but it's always good enough to have a long call, I usually spend 2-3 hours on the phone on a Sunday night catching up with people at home and I've got to say it hasn't let me down yet.I should mention the regular messaging feature of Skype also, it's not as gimmicky as the two big boy's (MSN & Yahoo) but its functional and effective, I use it a lot at work but I'm still using MSN at home purely because my friends are all on there.
Skype offer a number of other services, for example 'Skypein' where you can pay to have a number where people on landlines can call you on Skype for the same low Skype calling rates. You can also pay for voice mail. Although both of these services would be useful it's not really worth the extra cost for me, my window for overseas calling (or them calling me) is small and there would be no point in leaving my computer on all the time which of course in necessary to do anything with Skype.The Verdict
I've got to say, overall I'm really happy with the price and the quality of using Skype. It's not perfect, but it is very cost effective, saving me the $40 AUD (15GBP) a month I'd spent on line rental not to mention call charges. I'm sure as more people use it and computers and internet connections get quicker it will only become better in terms of quality.If you have any requirement to call overseas on a regular basis then you really should give it a go, it's free to download and headset's/Mic's are fairly cheap so it doesn't cost much to get up and running.
Excuse the really bad pun but, it's official ...SKPYE IS NOT TRIPE!!!Thanks for reading...
Product Information : Skype.com
Manufacturer's product descriptionComputers & Electronics
Type: Computers & Electronics
Domain Extension: .com
Listed on Ciao since: 05/10/2004