Is Skype a good replacement for a traditional home telephone?
I am considering replacing our home phone with Skype. My wife & I do most of our calling with our cell phones and use the home phone mostly for messages and calling her family in Europe.
I don't use a home phone for 5 years. Cell phone is more than enough and Instant messengers allow me to talk with Webcam and microphone for free.
Skype is a good alternative to a regular home phone but you can't expect the quality of a phone call using Skype.
I am in Europe and, in my country, Skype has more affordable prices for foreign country calls. Only certain cable packages have some advantages regarding the costs.
I would recommend you give it a try and see if it works out for you.
If Skype meets all your communication needs with little or no cost. Yes.
The answer depends on the reliability of Internet both in your area and in the areas you call. Skype can provide good picture and sound quality, or both can be sub-standard and frustrating.
When we Skype from our suburban New York home with family in either Madison, Wisconsin (the state capitol) or Ithaca, New York (mountanous) for example, we typically have lags in sound and periodic loss of picture because of undependable Internet in the other cities.
Although keeping a land line is expensive, we also have found that sound quality is superior to relying solely on our cell phones- - especially with long-distance calls.
It's cheap and convenient for long-distant calls to friends or relatives. But it just doesn't provide the immediate communication that a cell phone does. Right now I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Santa Monica waiting for a date and all I have is Skype. We Skype chatted this morning but I realized that we had not set a definite time to meet. It is now almost noon and the last Skype message I got from her was just after 9AM. She is not replying to my messages and I have no idea where she is. Help! I need a cell phone right now!
You have a couple of choices to make.
1. Get another cell phone and just get a Data Only plan Most cell companies offer this as an option, they just don't advertise that you are not required to buy a minute plan. You can then download Skype/Vonage/TextPlus and a few other App's that let you make phone calls to other users of the same service, and sometimes for free. My whole family knows how to reach me if they want to talk to me. Skype is a great service and in the near future Microsoft will be making Skype eve more easier to use.
2. Look into Sprint HomePhone Service Unlimited calling for $19.99
Verizon Wireless also offers HomePhone Connect Unlimited calling for $19.99
Europe might be extra
3. Xbox Live also offers Video calling, its great, fun and easy to use on your Xbox Live to make connections with friends and family all over the world
4. Google Voice is a great service to use. You can give out a number that will call your cell phone, without having to give out your real number, and you can use it to make international calls
Here are some things you can do to get started with Google Voice:
Read transcriptions of voicemails.
Customize which phones ring.
Personalize greetings for different callers.
Make cheap international calls.
Forward SMS to email.
Share voicemails with friends. »
Block unwanted callers.
Screen callers before answering.
Access the mobile app on your phone.
Conference call with co-workers.
5. If all that fails, good ole fashion snail mail works, and it could save the post office. :-)
I'd say Skype is great when the other person also has it, if not then you can pay to call a phone but I'm not sure how much it costs? Perhaps it's worth checking it out and comparing with your landline provider. I was in a long-distance relationship (England to Germany) for a couple of years and Skype was an absolute life saver for us as you can make long distance calls for free for as long as you want. You also get to see their face, and it's so much nicer talking to someone when you can.
I'd suggest that using skype to call your wife's family would definitely be a good idea, as long as you can get her family to install it too, because then it's free.
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