Help with possibly using Skype

  spuds 11:25 17 Sep 2006

Have Skype download ready to install on the computer. But I would like further information from anyone who uses Skype on a regular basis.

I telephone friends in South America and Canada plus other parts of the world. If I was to install Skype and my friends were to do likewise (is this possible!) on their computers, would there be any charges for this service, some literature seems to suggest that charges are made, yet at the same time suggesting that the service is 'Free'.

Are their any advantages or disadvantages, drawbacks or problems to using Skype. Also I have noticed a fair range of 'Skype approved telephones' available, ranging in price from £7.99 to £59.99. One particular Skype phone that caught my eye yesterday, was in Maplin's new range of products, USB Internet Phone with LCD Screen (item code A33GG) at £9.99.Seems ideal to me, but would I need something far better, taking into consideration, that all I want is to basically speak to someone, possibly on the other side of the world.

Any help, advice gladly appreciated.

  MichelleC 11:44 17 Sep 2006

Skype is free to use from pc to pc. It charges for calls to anywhere in the world, landline or mobile and the costs per call are less than most. The down side is they are very anal with topping up using credit cards and will often refuse a good cc for reasons due to cc fraud. I got to the stage where I use JaJah instead because of this.

  Audeal 11:52 17 Sep 2006

spuds. The charges only come into play when you phone someone on their Land Line phone. When phoning someone on computer to computer, this is free as all internet use is free (you have already paid for your internet so you do not pay for the internet call.) The charge comes in when your call leaves the internet and passes onto the landline from their exchange which is then a local call, hence the cheap cost. I hope you understand this.

  spuds 11:58 17 Sep 2006

MichelleC/Audeal-- Thanks for that information, this was the confusing thing, regarding when charges start appearing on an advertised 'free' service. Much clearer now.

  Stuartli 12:00 17 Sep 2006

Skype, as stated, is free when used from computer to computer with both systems having Skype installed and video-conferencing is also available with a web cam (you can also hold conferencing sessions).

I use a headset with a built-in mike but, if you prefer to use a phone, then the current Tesco offer might be of interest.

Tesco offers its own version of a Skype/ViOP service (i.e. you pay to call landlines and mobiles), but is now selling its phone and £5 voucher package off at £9.98 (at least half-price).

The phone which Tesco uses is a rebadged USRobotics model often used for Skype calls when purchased on its own.

You can patch the phone to use with Skype with a simple download and save money on buying it separately.

Normally the phone is around £25, although Dabs has now dropped it to £15 plus p and p.

So it's clearly cheaper to buy it at Tesco...:-)

  spuds 12:37 17 Sep 2006

Thanks Stuartli, I'll have a look in Tesco's tomorrow re the phone. The only problem with my local Tesco's, any special offers usually go very quick :O)

  Quiet Life 12:43 17 Sep 2006

Hi I have used Skype for at least two years and just use the computers speakers and an ordinary mic. As long as the speakers are not turned up too much I have found any playback is minimal. Spend many hours talking and also video conferencing too all parts of the world mainly to other computers.
Having old eyes I find texting on a mobile a real pain and use Skype for sending short messages from the computer. Again the charge for this much less than on a mobile.
Have had no trouble topping up account with a Portuguese visa card. Ten euros worth lasts as a very long time.

  Stuartli 12:51 17 Sep 2006

Been on sale in my Tesco Extra for around three or four weeks now - still plenty left...:-)

Details of the phone at:

click here (USB - P1K)

and the patch:

click here (SkypeMate for Windows (V3.0.1.29)

apparently allows its use with Skype.

  spuds 13:10 17 Sep 2006

Quiet Life- I have headphones and mike already installed on my computer which are the best option for me (slight deafness), but having read 'Echo Elimination' thought the telephone would be a better possible alternative. Thanks for the feedback, much welcomed.

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