General Question

breanne's avatar

Skype Landline Replacement: Pros and Cons?

Asked by breanne (484points) May 6th, 2008

What are the advantages/disadvantages of dropping a home phone number and replacing it with a Skype Unlimited US plan? At about $3 a month for the service, plus $30 for the SkypeIn number, it seems that the cost of one year is paid for in one month of normal landline service. I know emergency services are not possible, but mobile phones can be used for that.

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5 Answers

jeanne's avatar

The only downside we have found is that we have sort of inconsistent sound quality (bouncing or echoing) on calls which can be a drag particularly if you use the service for business calling which I do. Also be sure to check the memory on your machine(s). we have 3 machines and on 2 of them we don’t get good performance and although they all have lots of memory, we maybe having video or sound card issues. So I guess I am saying that it isn’t completely trouble free necessarily. That said-I love the plan particularly for conference calling-it is really inexpensive for that.

iwamoto's avatar

well, remember one thing, once your internet drops…your phone drops, other than that, why nor?

xyzzy's avatar

The quality of Skype depends on the quality of your ISP. If there is too much bandwidth congestion, Skype won’t work well at all. Also, if your ISP bundles telephone and/or cable, they may play games with your Skype connection to favor their own products over Skype.

Also consider what you use your computer for. Skype only works when your computer is running. If you’re looking to replace a landline, I’d recommend a standalone skype phone. Even with the additional hardware, Skype pays for itself in less than a year compared to a landline.

With all the negatives out of the way, let me point out the Skype works well. I’ve done international conference calls on it with parties in Europe, Australia, and the US and the quality of the connection was great. I don’t have any experience with SkypeIn or SkypeOut; all my calls are skype-client to skype-client.

breanne's avatar

@xyzzy I would indeed get a Skype phone, since my mother doesn’t like to leave the computer on. This is for my mother’s house, and since I live abroad, she could make much cheaper calls to me in Europe on Skype. Maybe the thing to do is buy a Skype phone first to test out the connection before committing to a cancellation of the landline. I want to get it all setup before I take off again.

jeanne's avatar

Yeah-I think given your situation the phone makes lots of sense. We have friends who use it exactly for that-to talk to family in Europe and it has been a very good solution for that.

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