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February 15, 2008

skypeAwesome, awesome product.  I love it.  Skype is a voice over IP service that lets you talk to others with your computer over the internet.  The quality is fine and best of all, it’s free from computer to computer.  You can also place calls from your computer to land lines and mobile phones.  If you’re in the US or Canada, you can buy service for about $24 for a year that lets you make unlimited calls to land lines or mobile phones in the US and Canada.

skype21You can also get a Skype Out service that let’s you call from your computer to phones overseas for about 2.1 cents per minute, pay as you go.  I have friends in Australia and Europe and I can call them and talk for an hour for about a buck and a quarter.

They also have a Skype In service where you can get a phone number for about $36 per year and when people call you, it rings on our computer.  It rings every computer that you’re currently logged into.  If you don’t answer, it can forward to your mobile if you like.  You can get multiple numbers too.  I got one with an area code of the town my mother is in in Florida, so she just has to dial a local number and she gets me and it doesn’t cost her anything.

skype1Skype also supports chat, online meetings, conferencing, video calls, SMS, file transfer, etc.  Skype is also available for smart phone and pocket PC devices, so you can make calls while on the go if you have a Wi-Fi connection and it’s available for certain other cell phones as well.  You can install it on your with Mac, Windows or Linux OS.

While traveling recently in Europe for two months, I made my calls back home as well as calls to European destinations through my netbook PC via Wi-Fi.  It came in very handy.  My entire phone services for the whole year are taken care of for less than $60.  I don’t even have a land line.

Skype tool bars integrate nicely with your Outlook, web browser and office applications to allow you to call a number that may be on a web page, word doc, email, or contact list just by clicking it.

Check it out.


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