How To Use Skype as Your Home Phone

Use Skype as an IP phone in your home

Skype is an inexpensive alternative to having a traditional landline in your home. Skype is an IP based phone application that runs over your internet connection on your computer, or on your Iphone or Ipod Touch.

Key Features

  • SkypeIn is a service that allows you to get a phone number that anyone can call. That's right. Anyone.
  • Plans for calling out. Skype offers inexpensive programs for the ability to call any phone number as well. We pay $2.95 per month.
  • Runs over IP based networks.
  • Talk free to other Skypers - Skype to Skype


www.skype.com
www.skype.com

How to Setup Skype

  1. Go to Skype.com and download the application
  2. Install the application
  3. Create a username - After you install the Skype Application, start it up and it will prompt you to login or create an account (This is a little confusing, since I couldn't find a way to create an account without installing the app on my computer first)

The next steps are optional

  1. Purchase Skype Out credits or a plan.  This allows you to call any phone
  2. Purchase a Skype In number.  This get's you a personal phone number that can receive calls from any phone as long as you are connected to the internet.

How To Install Skype on Your Iphone or IPod Touch

  1. Download the Skype for Iphone Application.
  2. When the application is downloaded, on a mac it will prompt you to send the application to Itunes. (You need Itunes to get applications on your Iphone or Ipod Touch). Select the Itunes application.
  3. Synch the applications to your Iphone.
  4. Make sure your Iphone or Ipod is connected to Wifi
  5. Start the Skype application on your Iphone or Touch and start making calls.

Once Skype is installed on your Iphone or Ipod touch you can make and recieve calls.  However, if you're not connected to wifi, then it will pull up a message and say that the carrier doesn't allow Skype to access the 3G network.  Hopefully the mobile phone carriers will resolve this.  If they don't I'm tempted to get an Ipod Touch and ditch the mobile contract.

Issues I had setting Skype up

  1. I was creating an account for my wife and couldn't figure out how to create her an account, so I downloaded and installed the application.  Once I started the application I could create a new account.
  2. The first two test calls I made to my mobile phone  worked fine.  But after that it wouldn't dial out until I added Skype Credits or purchased a plan.  Skype doesn't provide any messaging around this, so it's weird that it works, then stops and they don't tell you why, but if you dig a little you figure out that you just have to pay - It can't all be free.
  3. When I ordered the subscription to call out, it didn't have an option to order a SkypeIn number at the same time so we could have a number for people off of Skype to call us.  It would be nice if there was a little bundle with the option of SkypeOut and a SkypeIn number.  But, you have to order each separately.  The SkypeIn number is $12 for three months or $36 per year after you order a subscription plan.  So order a SkypeOut plan first - It will save you a little mony on SkypeIn if you order it.
  4. When I ordered SkypeIn, it let's you select from available area codes and then it offers a little box to type in a number you want.  This was totally broken on my mac, so I had to refresh the page and pick the one phone number Skype suggested.  It would have been cool, to get a number I wanted, but it didn't work.  I even tried the "*" wild card feature and that didn't work either.  This was the most confusing part of the entire setup.  I kept feeling like I was missing something.

How is the call quality on Skype to Regular Phones

The sound quality is very good, although there seems to be a very slight delay which I think is understandable since her phone is connected to our wireless network that's plugged into highspeed comcast internet access, that is then routed through Skypes network and then connected to my mobile phone.

Is Skype a good solution for a home phone

Skype is an excellent solution for a home phone, especially when it's on the Iphone or Ipod Touch. These devices work like a traditional phone vs talking on your computer.

If I was interested in adding an additional line to my house and had highspeed internet, I'd consider this option. I'd also consider it if I primarily used my mobile phone, but had poor connectivity at home and didn't want to pay for a traditional landline. The third way I think it makes sense is if you talk on the phone very little, but have the infrastructure to support it and want to make phone calls in an emergency. The final reason I think it could make sense if you make a lot of international calls. I don't, but it appears that Skype rates are much less expensive for calling foreign countries.

Skype on an Ipod Touch is a good alternative for a phone for kids

Instead of getting our daughter a mobile phone that has an expensive monthly fee, we purchased her an Ipod touch from Costco and set her up with a Skype account with her own number. It has worked really well, accpet that she prefers to text more than talk. To text, she uses the built in apple messaging system, she also installed the free text messaging application. The only downside is she has to be connected to wifi for this solution to work, but I think it's a very good alternative to purchasing a kid a mobile phone.

Do you know what Skype is?

I know what Skype is and how to use it?

  • Yes, I know what Skype is and how to use it
  • No, I don't know what Skype is or how to use it
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 26 comments

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Use Skype a lot. For anyone interested my skypename is the same as my name on HubPages - tonymac04, so call if you see I'm online - would love to hear from fellow-Hubbers!

Love and peace

Tony


Sybille Yates profile image

Sybille Yates 7 years ago

You forgot too mention that Skype, like other VOIP apps bears a high risk of compromising your security. It can be exploited as a backdoor into your computer etc. That is the reason I am not using it anymore. SY


h2oky profile image

h2oky 7 years ago

Paul thanks for the useful information about skype. I now have a clearer understanding but haven't made up my mind to use it or not. Great hub!


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 7 years ago from California

Talked from California to Hong Kong via Skype absolutely FREE on computer to computer...simply amazing! I still am in awe!


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 7 years ago from United States

I coincidentally just tried Skype the other day - works great! I love how you can be on a webcam/video, talk, and IM with someone - all at the same time and for free (computer to computer). I tried Yahoo Messenger, and works great (computer to computer) video/phone/IM as well.


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

I have Skype and a Skype phone number, and I trust it enough to use it for business calls.    I don't have a lot of use for the PC-to-PC calls (but I have the option, of course, if I want it).  Having the extra phone number is a great option for a one-person, freelance, business. I have the PC-to-PC part of the service set to accept no calls from anyone but a contact or two.


Common Thred 7 years ago

I downloaded Skype today and turns out my laptop's internal microphone doesn't work! Oh well...but I like the idea, and think free computer to computer calls is a great way to see who you're calling.


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 7 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

If your speakers don't work, you can pickup a pair of headphones with a speaker. I have the headset by logictech and it works great with my mac and skype.


Andrew0208 profile image

Andrew0208 7 years ago from Zion

This guide is helpful, never knew it got support for Iphones. I'll have to go for a plan to fully enjoy their Skype out calls with Skype In number. Thank you.


mel22 profile image

mel22 6 years ago from ,

My wifes notebook started crashing after installing skype and would freeze after an hour or so from connecting. This app is great for talking free to her family in the philippines but it should be noted to make it secure behind a firewall as there is easy access to being hacked by spammers and shutting down the system.. this only happened upon connecting. Otherwise this app is awesome on cutting down on long distance charges.


techie7 profile image

techie7 6 years ago

Regarding Sybille's comment on probable security threats. I read a hachker's report on Skype, from which it follows that Skype is practically impossible to break. I am not professional enough to understand all what was written in that report, but it sounded quite convincing. His conclusion, as a hacker, was that there is no way to break throgh the Skype's security features. He was just wondering, why do they need such a high security in a free application. But only the guys there at Skype know that.


Steve 6 years ago

this has cut my travelling call costs to a fraction of what it was as i use my laptop for conference calls now. Yet to see if the iphone skype app is a great option.


Tom_Radford profile image

Tom_Radford 6 years ago from London

Great Hub. Still haven't tried Skype yet but I've used google video and that's pretty cool.


Michi 6 years ago

Thank you for all the information you gave us. I haven't started yet, but I'm sure that I shall use it fairly soon once I understood it how to use fully.


Uncle Che 5 years ago

If you make too many (lengthy) calls, won't your account get suspended for "violating the fair usage policy"?


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 5 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

I have not seen a skype account cancelled for lengthy calls.


SirDent 5 years ago

I wonder how well skype works with Satellite internet service. We are limited on how much data we can download each day.


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 5 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

I don't know. I've only used skype over cable at home. I suspect that the additional latency of satellite Internet would only be an issue with the initial connection. Let us know what you find out.


SirDent 5 years ago

I have read online that you can use it with satellite. I read where I can expect a lag in sending and receiving because of the distance to the satellite and back again. I still haven't found out about using up the allotment of download. I'll keep searching.


ryankett 5 years ago

My girlfriends brother works for Skype as an analyst, in fact I tried to get him to participate on here once http://hubpages.com/@matthewpaver

He was, ummmm, very busy at Christmas ;) Having the problems that they did have at Christmas is perhaps the best advert for not relying entirely on Skype, although I guess that if you carry a BlackBerry or something it wouldn't be too much of an issue.


rich_hayles profile image

rich_hayles 5 years ago

Hay Paul, thanks for the information. I now use Skype as an addition to my mobile (cell) phone and find it a great service. I use it mostly for international calls as I have a few friends travelling across the globe right now. Works wonders and would recommend using it for those looking to cut down on bills. As previously stated, don't depend on it for all your calls.


Adventure Colorad profile image

Adventure Colorad 5 years ago from Denver,CO

My family used to use MSN messenger for our chat messages, but we have been moving towards Skype. It is also a great way to speak with family or friends in other countries. My brother is currently out of country and we can video chat with each other for free.


Balinese profile image

Balinese 5 years ago from Ireland

I use skype too also I used VoIP wise as I get free call to certain country either mobile or landline


kdupree 5 years ago

Great information, I also use skype too.


emdi profile image

emdi 5 years ago

It's hard for me to believe that there are people who don't know how to use skype. Just curious, do you get traffic to this site from outside hubpages.


dwight 4 years ago

my microphone does not work on skype,what happened

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working