Skype Reviews



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Skype Review by WhichVoIP

Skype is a free VoIP service that specializes in video calling between users. It is an over the top (OTT) VoIP service, meaning it connects through your device's Internet connection and the installed Skype software rather than through a dedicated VoIP line. It offers unique supplementary services to further diversify telephone and long distance communication. First released in 2003 and purchased by Microsoft in 2011, Skype has accumulated over 663 million registered users and is one of the most popular communication services in the world.

The Good

Skype is available as a free download on a wide selection of devices, from smart phones and tablets, to TVs and computers. Skype-ready phones and devices are also available for purchase through its website. Calls can be made to anyone using Skype regardless of the device they are using. Calls can also be made to mobiles and landlines at a cost of 2.3 cents per minute (USA/CAN).

Basic features include voice calls, video calls, instant messaging, and the ability to send and receive files. Caller ID, call forwarding, and voicemail also come packaged within the service.

Paid premium features including video calls for up to 10 people, group screen sharing, and 24/7 live support.

It is easy to set up and as an affiliate of Microsoft, user account data can be shared between multiple Microsoft platforms, including the Xbox One gaming system.

Though there is no specific business calling plan, it does support businesses through the use of Skype Manager and Skype Connect, which allows business owners to set up unique phone lines and allocate Skype Credit and subscriptions to individual accounts.

No adapter or hardware outside of a previously owned device is necessary. This helps keep user cost down, as no additional equipment has to be purchased, rented, or shipped.

There is no additional fee applied to activation or cancellation of service.

The Bad

Some users have complained that Skype's customer service is lacking and unresponsive, with the most frequent complaint being poor call quality. The service is dependent on high speed or broadband quality internet and may perform poorly in areas lacking Wi-Fi or strong mobile data coverage.

It does not support emergency calling. This is a critical detail to know if considering this service as a stand-alone alternative to your current provider.

Extremely limited features are offered compared to other providers and the premium features are also lacking for the cost.

Many services offered must be purchased with "Skype Credit", which is essentially a digital wallet tied to a user's account. Though it is stated otherwise, Credit does expire after 180 days if not used.

There is a 15 day "Cooling-Off Period" on all purchased services. If the paid service is not used within this time, the service may be cancelled and refunded. However, if the services have been used, any desired refund expires.

The Bottom Line

  • Basic Service: (FREE). The basic plan is accessible to anyone via downloading the app from the website or through an equivalent app store. This plan allows for truly unlimited calling, both video and voice, to any other Skype user regardless of the device they use. Instant messaging is also included.
  • Unlimited US and Canada: ($2.99 per month). Users can call landlines and mobiles in Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the USA.
  • Unlimited North America: ($7.99 per month). Users can call landlines and mobiles in Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the USA. Can only call landlines in Mexico.
  • Unlimited World: ($13.99 per month). Users can call both landlines and mobiles in 8 countries and landlines exclusively in 57 other countries.
  • Unlimited calling plans are actually limited to 5,000 minutes per month. Additional blocks of 5,000 minutes per month can be purchased through Skype Connect for $30.00 per month.
  • Calls made through Unlimited calling plans will be disconnected after 2 hours and require a redial to reconnect.
  • SMS Messaging (text messaging) to non-Skype enabled cell phones is also available at a pay as you go rate of 11.2 cents per message.

Overall Thoughts

Skype's biggest draw is its free video messaging service and ability to communicate for free with the large number of existing Skype users. For contacting people outside the network, the service is reasonably priced and provides adequate call quality. It is one of the more popular and reliable OTT services, however, like other OTT services (such as Google Voice) it is limited by data networks. If you live somewhere with strong mobile data coverage, you may even consider using this service over a traditional mobile provider. Seamless integration across multiple devices is also a strong selling point.

If you are looking for a basic, low-cost calling and messaging service this may be a good option. However, if you are looking for a more feature rich service it is rather lacking and, unless you have a paid subscription, some support features, such as 24/7 live chat, are unavailable. While it is a strong service for conferencing and messaging, many other VoIP companies offer more robust features and flexible services. Yet there is a reason it is so popular, one of the most prominent being a lack of signup cost, which allows potential customers to try out the service risk-free.

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