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2davidc8's avatar

Has anyone used Skype to communicate with someone in another country?

Asked by 2davidc8 (9701points) June 27th, 2015

I’m looking in the App Store at the Skype and Skype WiFi apps for my iPad. Here’s some of the description of the Skype WiFi app:

It says to first connect to any supported public WiFi hotspot, then open the Skype WiFi app (not the Skype app yet) and tap the Connect button. Now you’re free to browse the web and check your email. Pay only for the minutes you use (you have to have “Skype credit” in your account).

But, can’t I browse the web and check my email at any public WiFi hotspot, for free without going through the Skype WiFi and “paying for the minutes I use”? Why would I need Skype for web browsing and email?

Now, if I want to call or message my friends, I understand that I would need the Skype app. And I need to pay for this service by going through Skype WiFi, right?

If you used this to call someone in another country, how did it work out? Was the service satisfactory? Was it very expensive?

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8 Answers

cazzie's avatar

It costs nothing when both parties have skype and it works as well as your individual wifi connections. If one or both of your speeds suck or always cut out, it won’t work well.

Don’t pay for SKYPE. It’s free. You can use skype to call cell phones or land lines and then it costs money. If you are out and about, some wifi systems won’t allow you to use SKYPE or stream movies because it uses up too much of their bandwidth, so you won’t be guaranteed to be able to use it at all ‘free wifi’ spots.

I use it at home and have spoken to people in New Zealand, Germany, Holland and the US, and on my phone to keep in touch of my kiddo when he is at home without me. I use my 4G but only for the voice part, otherwise it would eat up my whole data package.

I bought minutes once, but they expire, so beware. Also, I used their system of setting up a remote ‘local number’ so my family could call me on, to them, a local number and it would cost them nothing. I let it expire. They never used it.

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snowberry's avatar

We Skype with my daughter in Japan all the time. She pays to be able to call us on our phones because it’s far cheaper than buying phone card or just using calling using a phone and having them bill her. We do not pay for Skype and never use its function to call by telephone because we don’t need it.

When we need to talk to her we text her using our cell phones, and she calls us back when she’s free. It’s fairly cheap~ something like .50 a text.

tedibear's avatar

I have used Skype to talk with a friend in Germany. We both used the free version and had no issues at all.

whitenoise's avatar

I use Skype a lot when I need to make calls to people on their foreign phone lines, or when they don’t have FaceTime.

I prefer the quality of apple’s FaceTime, but some countries have actively blocked it and you can’t use it there, lie UAE.

Making a phone call on my Dutch cell phone from Saudi Arabia to Ethipia may set me back around three to four euros per minute. Skype to phone line costs 25 cents.

Skype to Skype and FaceTime are free. Results may vary. Recently I have not been able to make Skype calls in excess of 46 seconds from Middle East. Don’t know why.

2davidc8's avatar

Thank you all for your answers. Thank you, @whitenoise, for the reminder that FaceTime is another option.
OK, so this is what I’ve gleaned so far. Skype-to-Skype is free and I don’t need to connect via Skype WiFi for this. The catch is that both ends have to be on Skype and WiFi, but any public WiFi will do. (FaceTime, as understand it, works similarly; both ends have to be on FaceTime.)

But Skype can also be used to call landlines and mobile phones which are not on Skype, but for that I would need to also connect via Skype WiFi and have Skype dollars in my account. I would be charged for the minutes used.

Am I correct so far? I’m asking about Skype because someone I know will be going on a trip, and we’re looking for the cheapest way to communicate.

whitenoise's avatar

I actually often use Skype and FaceTime while on 4G or 3G cellular. Abroad the data charges of a FaceTime or Skype call are often lower for me than a phone call would bring. The call clarity / quality of FaceTime is often better than of a normal phone call.

Check the details of the data and phone plans of your phone provider… Particularly when traveling.

2davidc8's avatar

@whitenoise Yes, my understanding is that a regular phone call is the most expensive way to go. Skype or FaceTime via cellular is less expensive and, I think, I could get a temporary (like 30-day) plan that may reduce the cost further. Least expensive would be Skype or FaceTime via WiFi (with Skype I would pay with “Skype dollars” in a Skype account), and in fact, this would totally free if both ends are on Skype (or FaceTime) and WiFi.

Do I have this all correct?

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