Skype to the Rescue

By: Matthew Minnich

With Skype we would be able to call anywhere in the USA for $3 a month (even less if we pay for a year at one time). But would it work?

*WARNING! Skype is not for emergencies. It doesn’t support 911.

My wife and I recently purchased a home in Grafton, Ohio. We were living in Lakewood, Ohio. Primary difference and reason for the move was to get away from people.

Grafton is away from people without being away from too much too far.

Just one problem.

In Lakewood, I was able to have ATT phone and DSL for $32 a month. By not having long distance and never having had DSL before I was able to keep the phone bill really low.

Jump ahead to Grafton and we find out that everything is long distance.

Verizon is the only game in town and they know it. So what can I do?

Skype! Skype.com

Gesundheit.

NO. Skype is that great free web communication tool.

We had been using Skype since December of 2007. For Christmas we gave my mother and ourselves a webcam so that we could talk to her in Michigan and she could see the Grandkids more often.

It works great. For Free.

Skype also has VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) capabilities. I needed long distance, I wanted it cheap.

Phone and DSL in Grafton through Verizon $50 plus, no long distance. So it was already $20 more than Lakewood ATT.

I just bought a house, and I am a cheapskate. Some call it Fiscally conscious.

With Skype we would be able to call anywhere in the USA for $3 a month (even less if we pay for a year at one time). But would it work?

Only one way to find out. I bit the bullet and paid $3. I then pulled out a headset I had which never worked on dial up. And pow! Zing! I was calling people outside of Grafton. Miracle of Miracles. It was awesome, it was amazing it was $3.

So what’s the catch? $3 sounds too good right?

Well for $3 Skype I can all any number in the good ole USA. But no one can call me unless they are on the computer using Skype. (which my mother already has done). Caller ID doesn’t like you, so you will leave a lot of messages until people know how you look on Caller ID Until…

For another $3 or $4 bucks a month, you can get a phone number anywhere in the USA. You can buy up to 10 numbers for your Skype name. For now I have a Cleveland local number for the majority of my family to call as local.

So I’ve got cheap long distance a local number for my family to call all for $53.50 per year (if paid in advance. You can pay monthly, but annually effectively gave me 2 free months.)

Skype US and Canada Subscription

One last piece to the puzzle. No one wants to be tethered to the computer by a headset. So how do you fix that?

The really good news is that you can get Skype phones. Either on their site store or elsewhere.

Skype Store

I purchased a GE cordless Skype phone which also connects to the land line. $70.Google shopping GE Skype phone

You can purchase free standing skype phones that don’t need the computer to be on. They plug into your router or access via wifi. They cost more but could be very useful.

LONG STORY short. I love Skype.

Skype for Long Distance and Local calling $3 a month or $30 a year.
Skype phone number $24 a year.
Voicemail included in calling plan. (We don’t use it much yet)
Other features are available that I don’t use. But you might.

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3 Responses to “Skype to the Rescue”

  1. avatar
    Marc Majers August 6, 2008 at 6:06 am #

    How’s the sound quality of the call? Have you ever been disconnected?

  2. avatar
    Matt Minnich August 6, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    the only time I have been disconnected was when my Sister in Law was on her cell phone in the Hospital (thats a no no.)

    Skype even asks how the call was after you disconnect from time to time. (Only if you you are using the Computer itself for calling)

    there is a slight delay for people on the other end. But its not terrible. and Skype to Skype has no delay.

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