Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wanna talk to me free? Get Skype dammit!

While I was in Germany a couple weeks ago, a colleague turned me onto this thing called Skype. Skype is a free VOIP program. For the technologically disinclined, VOIP means "Voice Over IP", which basically means you can talk over the internet using your computer.

So here's how it works - you can download the program free from the website (, then you can call any other Skype users in the world absolutely FREE.

The best part is that you can also call people's phone numbers as well for a ridiculously low cost of about 2 cents per minute. If all you're doing is calling other people on Skype, then you never have to pay a cent.

To give you an idea, I charged my account with an initial 10 euros (about $12). In the past two weeks, I've called back to the States numerous times and the wife has called Hong Kong a couple times as well. We usually talk anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes each time. Right now I still have over 4 euros on my account. And the sound quality is amazingly good.

Obviously the drawback is that you have to have a computer and internet connection to use it, but if you have those then you should get Skype. And if you DO get Skype, be sure to email me so I can give you my username and then we'll be able to talk anytime, for as long as we want...wait for it...ABSOLUTELY FREE.

(Of course, if you're one of the many people who stumbled across this blog by doing a Google image search for dirty words...please don't bother emailing me, I don't want to talk to you...)


Ed Abbey said...

I think I read somewhere recently that almost 80% of all calls made using regular telephones are routed through internet hubs anyway. The calls goes from phone, through wire to hub, sent to another hub, through wire to receiving phone and we don't even notice. I think receiving signals sent through regular phone wires is going to be a has been in the not to distant future.

I used one of those free VOIP programs several years ago and the quality was good but there was a three or four second lag in the conversation which got annoying really fast. Have they got rid of that? I may have to check them out again.

Rik said...

ED - No, there's no lag at all. It's better quality than talking on my cell phone. Clear as day.

Gia said...

I've been using skype to call Canada and the Phillippines and even Spain, and when we talk it could last more than an hour.

What's great is that with my sister in manila on skype and my mom in canada, we can have clear three way conversations, and all it costs is as you said. Only lag, if ever is the first two seconds of connection, but conversation is crisp and clear. Am on my second month and I've only spent 9Euros.