Thursday, May 29, 2008

Skype


I have searched top to bottom for a way to effectively lower my telephone bill. The lowest I have come up with is 16.95 with AT&T for bare bones basic service. NO CALL WAITING, NO CALLER ID, NO NOTHING!

Then I came across Skype! Could it be the answer to my prayers?!?! The service is 2.95/mo for outgoing calls (or 23.60 for a 12 mo subscription=$1.96/mo), and 2.00 for a 12 mo subscription to a telephone number to receive calls (or 12.00 for 3 months if you want shorter term).

I have heard of this service for webcam usage, from when hubby was in the Air Force, but never looked into it since we weren't using webcam. Then I came across another blog the other day that mentioned that they used skype to save on their bill. So I started to investigate.

Here is what I found out. Skype is similar to Vonage. It is a VoIP (voice over IP) It uses your Internet connection to make telephone calls. Think...vocal email. You can communicate to other skype members free of charge. Just download the link from their site, and your friend or family can do the same, and you can talk all you want! I would really love to get all of my family in Michigan connected...especially with a webcam (which can be bought for about 20.00 at WalMart) so that we could chat whenever we want! I also have some family oversees. A cousin in Brazil already uses skype, and speaks frequently on it via webcam to us in the states.
of course, there are good and bad.

Some of the drawbacks...



  1. biggest is that you cannot access 911 with skype.

  2. having a DSL connection is preferred over dialup for the best clarity (But not necessary)

  3. telephone connection is a little tricky...

  • option 1- a headset, with microphone-cord connected to your computer- 14.99 at WalMart

  • option 2- a corded handset, also connected via USB in computer-about 30 at WalMart

  • option 3- a cordless DUAL (skype and landline) phone, but still the base is connected to USB- WalMart-69.99

All of the above options depend on a TURNED ON computer in order to make or receive calls. Although, if a call comes in while your computer is turned off, the caller ID and Voicemail still function, so you can check it later.



The last option is the priciest, but most flexible. Skype sell a phone on their site, the Phillips VoIP841 that is cordless, and just plugs into you computers modem. Since the modem is ALWAYS on, then so is your skype connection. This phone is 139.99.


Our family chose option 3 for now. After our test run, I will strongly consider the last option for its flexibility.



So here is the breakdown of our savings...including the cost of the phone.


_________________________________________________________________


Current AT&T UVerse All Pro-40.00


Wire Pro Insurance -6.00


Taxes & Surcharges 9.00


TOTAL 55.00/mo


Cost per year 660.00


__________________________________________________


AT& T Basic service (NO EXTRAS)


16.95


Tax & Surcharges about 3.05


TOTAL 20.00/mo


Cost per Year 240.00


_________________________________________________________________


Skype


12 mo Subscription SkypeIn -24.00


12 mo Subscription SkypeOut 23.60


Skype Cordless Phone + Tax 75.76


TOTAL FOR 1 YR OF SERVICE=123.36


Price per Month------------------$10.28

And remember, the monthly subscription is not at all necessary! You could use skype to skype for free too!
One last note from me to you.... When I ordered my subscription on the skype site, I chose the 12 months, so that I could get the biggest savings. There is a paypal option and a regular Credit Card option. I chose paypal and at checkout it automatically defaulted my payment as a 1 month subscription instead. So I did it again, and processed it as a regular payment and it worked fine. Only problem is that the customer service is all via internet, so I am still waiting to find out how this double payment will be handled.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

you should check out

www.magicjack.com

20 bucks a YEAR and you talk through your own phone.

The jack itself is 40, but that includes an entire year of service.

My friend has it and says it works great!

Sherry