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Simmer911
Premium
join:2005-01-12
Chelsea, AL

Skype is nothing but hype...

Well I have seen people talk about some "free" VOIP services online and this is one I have heard a lot about. So I download it and try to make a call. Apparently it is free only to other Skype users but you have to buy credits to call anyone who does not use Skype.
It blatently says it is free internet telephony...well free to other users of thier product I guess....any other so called "free" VOIP services I should try. The first one I went with was what I thought...too good to be true.
--
»www.talkaboutvoip.com

Test99
Premium
join:2003-04-24
San Jose, CA
kudos:1
I couldn't disagree more. On a typical day, Skype has more than a million users online. That's probably more than all the other VOIP providers combined. It's easy to persuade people to download Skype and it's easy to get it running. Skype has the best audio quality. And it uses symbolic names instead of phone numbers. Skype's major drawback is that it is not yet SIP-compatible.

Access to the PSTN may be important now, but in my experience it is becoming less so every day.
--
Welcome to the 21st century. You'll do fine here. Just don't expect anything to work quite the way it is supposed to...


Simmer911
Premium
join:2005-01-12
Chelsea, AL
yah but when I hear free internet telephony then I expect to be able to call any number and not just other user that use the program. I am sure this is useful for a lot of people, but I do not want to be tied to the computer or have to set up a phone compatible with this service. I am content with paying a small fee for what I get and using regular phones. Don't tempt me with a "free" service and then tell me...oh you can only use it free with other people that use only our software. I am sure thier call quality is great and people love it. But it is not what I am looking for and I was just trying to see if it really was free...and to me it is not for what it claims to be.
--
»www.talkaboutvoip.com


vonsen
Just Because
Premium
join:2005-01-06
reply to Simmer911
I've got to agree with test99 on this one. Skype has better voice quality than commercial providers, it offers encryption that you can't get elsewhere and it works well behind all but the most rigid firewalls, which you sure can't say about a lot of TA's. There are more active skype users than vonage/lingo/at&t/vp/etc combined. Not to mention that it is indeed free. I was skeptical when I first tried it because of the authors, but after using it for some time, I can only say that it is a fantastic app.

It sounds like you were expecting it to connect to pstn for free and it does not. But I don't see where skype has done anything to mislead about this. You drew an impression or made an assumption about pstn when you saw 'telephony'.. but I think that relates more to your expectations based on using a commercial voip provider before hand. It may not be for you, but skype is a class act.
--
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golthar

join:2005-01-24
Netherlands
reply to Simmer911
Skype is indeed fine.
I use it to talk to my co-workers and use Skype Out mostly to call into Europe (local for me, but I only have a cell phone so Skype is better and cheaper)

You were not misled, the phonecalls between Skype users are free, Skype out is a feature that was later tacked on.

IGGY
No Guru Just Here To Help
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-30
Chatham, IL

1 edit
reply to Simmer911
I'm not a Skype fan do to who produces it. This is my own personal shortcoming. But I will say I think ( from what I've seen ) that they are in fact upfront about the "limitations" of their software. Many others since 1999 and before. Have tried to create an easy to use method to make calls using the internet. I think Skype is probably the most successful venture in this regard currently. Although to me this just seems like voice IM using a phone. The only difference between a Skype or a Paltalk. Is just the device used to do the talking. Again this is just my opinion.
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prestonlewis
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA

1 edit
reply to Simmer911
At one time, Dialpad.com and some other sites offered free VOIP connections to the PSTN and paid the bills by offering advertising while you were using the service. Those days are long gone. Advertising is no longer sufficient to pay the bills for bandwidth and for the transport/termination fees involving VOIP connections to the PSTN.

For the original posters benefit, the only "FREE" VOIP left is PC to PC. You're describing VOIP as it existed 5 years ago or so and it no longer exists. If you're expecting free calls to the PSTN, you're going to be disappointed.

As for Skype, it has it's niche in the VOIP market. It's primary feature that I like is being able to use port 80 to connect if your employer or IP blocks it's usual ports. Very nice feature. And as some mentioned, it usually an unusually good voice algorythm to produce superior sound quality. I've never been a big fan of the SIP protocol. Perhaps one day a major provider will offer Skype's flexibility (port 80, alternative protocol) and combine it with a desktop adapter and local DID's. That would be nice to try.

With all due respect to the original poster, I see you joined the forum 2 weeks ago. If you stick around for a while, you'll learn exactly what Skype does, how many people like it (which is quite a few), and it's limitations which are many (European based, no DID's, no desktop adapters, etc). It's not that your statements are necessarily incorrect, but your expectations are. Skype does what it was intended to do. What you are expecting Skype or another "free" VOIP service to do no longer exists in today's world.

lmjh7065
Premium
join:2001-04-04
Cincinnati, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Simmer911
You seem to have ignored the word "internet" in free internet telephony. Seems to me to be exactly "as advertised".

Even Dialpad.com required a dial-up internet connection. I used it even before broadband (DSL, cable HSI) was even available for me. I was amazed that it even worked at all.

Stanaphone was almost free when I first tried it over broadband, but I think my computer's processing power was not sufficient to use this service. Sound quality was not bad and you even got a DID number.

I agree with Test99 that the PSTN is becoming less important as time goes by, but so are 800 numbers as more and more get VoIP. Guess we will have to go back to POTS if we survive long enough to land in a nursing facility - what a depressing thought.

craigsn

join:2004-08-16
Kent, WA
reply to Test99
I would agree that Skype is easy to get running, but will disagree about the audio quality being the best.

I have been using MSN Messenger for 3 1/2 years with their audio services (& then video on top of it), and their voice quality is much better than skype in direct connections. AIM is also better, but not as good as MSN, and IChat AV for the Mac is pretty darn good as well. I would take all 3 over Skype, any day.

And I use SunRocket as my VOIP provider, and their voice quality is better than Skype. So while Skype, in my opinion, is a good product, there are much better ones on the market. (Free anyway).

Craig

Test99
Premium
join:2003-04-24
San Jose, CA
kudos:1
In my experience, MSN Messenger's audio is barely tolerable and the video is just a sequence of still images. And there are frequent disconnects. Communication via MSN Messenger feels like hard labor.

It's puzzling that our experiences with MSN Messenger and Skype are radically different. Any ideas?
--
Welcome to the 21st century. You'll do fine here. Just don't expect anything to work quite the way it is supposed to...

craigsn

join:2004-08-16
Kent, WA
I don't really have a clue why it doesn't work as well for you, unless maybe you have a low speed internet connection. I've had cable (3mbs) & now DSL (1.5mbs) and for those speeds MSN has worked fine.

What surprises me is that Skype doesn't work for me as well as it does others.

Anyone else have ideas on this?

Craig


vonsen
Just Because
Premium
join:2005-01-06
reply to Test99
Not sure how the poster managed to get good results with MSN messenger. I have demonstrated skype and MSN side by side at dozens of different corporate sites and would have noticed if messenger even approached skype's clarity once.

ceocio

join:2004-04-16
Columbus, OH
reply to Simmer911
It's possible to get better results with msn than skype.
On a slower pc( skype needs relatively more powerful cpus for codec and echo cancellation processing) without being firewalled (note the poster said "direct connection"), you could get better quality from msn. This is not speculation, rather from my own experience.
experience with corporate sites' connection is not typical, as they are usuallly firewalled and msn's nat traversal largely depends on upnp capability of your router-- i dont know many corporate sites would allow that..

ceocio

join:2004-04-16
Columbus, OH
reply to craigsn
Your connection is fine. Did you try another computer? Skype audio quality suffers greatly if the cpu is not powerful enough. Also while skype works well with firewall, it does so by relaying the stream via other nodes, which would cause bad voice qualitiy and delay...
said by craigsn:

What surprises me is that Skype doesn't work for me as well as it does others.

Anyone else have ideas on this?

Craig


Corvus
Flaming Tards Since 2003
Premium
join:2003-11-26
reply to Simmer911
Skype is hot air and using a old concept of PC to Phone (I was using a free PC to Phone system with adware in 1998-1999, before the .com crash). This kind of service is in my opinion a VoIP service of first generation. To be reliable and constant quality (QoS capability) the best thing you can get now is a VoIP provided by your ISP (Cable or VDSL).
--
demagogue \DEM-uh-gog\, noun: 1. A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace. 2. A leader of the common people in ancient times

Mariner98

join:2003-11-28
Parksville, BC
reply to Simmer911
I've tried Skype (PC-to-PC) on my Pocket PC handheld (Dell Axim x30) at wifi hotspots. Works like a charm. Looking forward to staying in touch with a handful of friends when we're travelling.


voiplover
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Portsmouth, NH

1 edit
reply to ceocio

wrong reply, my goof!

Edit: Further down.

ceocio

join:2004-04-16
Columbus, OH

Re: Wrong and misleading topic headings!

calm down....It's just the origianl poster's opinion.There's nothing wrong or misleading about that..Some ppl hate skype while others love it. Neither side is wrong or misleading by posting their opinions. Meanwhile, can you edit your post in response to the OP, instead of mine? but it's ok if you can't edit it, I won't call it "wrong" or "misleading" follow up.


voiplover
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Portsmouth, NH

1 edit
reply to Simmer911
Who left the back door open?
If you don't know what you are talking about, then please don't start a thread as a factual test.
Again, I'm seeing more thread titles that are beyond the true facts. Doesn't anybody know how to use an edit button anymore.

Sorry to ramble on. This was only about the Header of the original thread.

I've used Skype and know of many that live by it's free quality peer to peer communications. It's great for what it is, but it's not intended to be a pots line.


Simmer911
Premium
join:2005-01-12
Chelsea, AL
Look...what I said in my original post was based on fact. You can only call other users of Skype for free and if you want to call people outside of Skype, then you have to pay for it. I merely offered my opinion on this service. I am sure if you have a lot of friends that use Skype, then it is great to use. But for the average newbie to VOIP it is not something I would reccommend. Most people do not want only a PC to PC solution and would rather use thier traditional phones in thier house as well as being able to use thier home wiring as well to set up thier phone service. Bottom line--for the average new user wanting to look into getting VOIP service; I would not reccommend Skype.
--
»www.talkaboutvoip.com


Vchat20
Landing is the REAL challenge
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Columbus, OH
reply to Simmer911

Re: Skype is nothing but hype...

i got to agree with the original poster's opinion on this. skype is just hype imho. nothing more than every other voice chat program available (teamspeak, msn, aim, yahoo, etc..).

personally, i myself like free world dialup. itc completely free. and although it still doesnt do "true" pc to phone calling, they do have partnerships with big voip companies such as vonage and packet8 so you can call packet8 and vonage users and they can call you all for free. you can also get a virtual phone number from libretel (although limited area codes available) so regular landline users can still call. you also get free toll free number calling.

to me, fwd has a hell of alot more going for it than skype can hope for in its lifetime.


voiplover
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Portsmouth, NH

1 edit
reply to Simmer911

Re: Wrong and misleading topic headings!

said by Simmer911:


Look...what I said in my original post was based on fact. You can only call other users of Skype for free and if you want to call people outside of Skype, then you have to pay for it. I merely offered my opinion on this service. I am sure if you have a lot of friends that use Skype, then it is great to use. But for the average newbie to VOIP it is not something I would reccommend. Most people do not want only a PC to PC solution and would rather use thier traditional phones in thier house as well as being able to use thier home wiring as well to set up thier phone service. Bottom line--for the average new user wanting to look into getting VOIP service; I would not reccommend Skype.
Well, I (and probably the developers of skype) would have to agree with what you just posted. Thank you.
Unfortunately, in choosing a Header 'You leaped before you looked'. Please do a little research next time. Skype is not advertised or intended as a voip replacement for Pots. It is called Skype not voip. It is designed for peer to peer communications over the internet. They also offer on a pay per minute basis termination to pots (skype out).
I feel that your header "Skype is nothing but hype..." is misleading and maybe slanderous, and if you had any integrity you would edit it. (At least it rhymed.)
That's my opinion, and not intended to be a flame. I hope you get the point.

Test99
Premium
join:2003-04-24
San Jose, CA
kudos:1
I agree with voiplover. Maybe an analogy would help. It's as if simmer thought he was ordering a puppy. But when he opened the cage, a kitten came out. This is clearly an error condition. simmer's error message was, in effect, "Defective puppy". Some of us believe the error message should have read: "Ordered wrong animal."
--
Welcome to the 21st century. You'll do fine here. Just don't expect anything to work quite the way it is supposed to...


Simmer911
Premium
join:2005-01-12
Chelsea, AL
I would never order a defective puppy...I would have it genetically altered to be absoloutely perfect!! LOL!
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»www.talkaboutvoip.com


Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

1 edit
reply to Vchat20

Re: Skype is nothing but hype...

said by Vchat20:


you can also get a virtual phone number from libretel (although limited area codes available) so regular landline users can still call. you also get free toll free number calling.
»pulverblog.pulver.com/archives/001654.html


craigsn

join:2004-08-16
Kent, WA
reply to ceocio
I have an AMD Athlon 2500+ w/ 1gb ram, separate sound card (can't remember the brand, but a middle of the road one), and it works fine, running Win XP Pro SP2.

I've got Skype on a Mac Dual Proc G5 as well. I guess I'll try it from there and see how it works, but since that isn't my main machine, I don't use it often.

Craig

magbayross

join:2005-02-01
Danby, VT
reply to Simmer911

Re: Wrong and misleading topic headings!

For whatever it's worth...

Yes, Skype is free when calling other Skype users....if you want to call someone on their regular telephone you will pay a fee, a very small fee. I call New Zealand from my Skype account and it cost's me about 7 cents/min...Now, that same call using AT&T or someone else will run 40-50 cents a minute. Dahhhhh....

muppetmaster

join:2002-10-22
Barcelona
reply to voiplover
Do you ever not complain about posts? Stay on topic.

Beetle_B

join:2004-12-29
reply to craigsn

Re: Skype is nothing but hype...

I would agree that Skype is easy to get running, but will disagree about the audio quality being the best.


YMMV.

I live in the US, and have been wanting to call a friend in Pakistan for years (last time I met him in person was in 1997).

Over the years, we both had dialup, and tried everything - including Yahoo IM and MSN Messenger. Sound quality was just not good enough. So we never got anywhere

Then recently, I realized that I had broadband and that we never tried it after I got high speed Internet. So I suggested we try again. He's still on dialup.

Yahoo IM sucked. As did MSN Messenger.

We almost gave up, as Skype is something like a 10MB download (big for dialup). But he downloaded it anyway, and we tried the next day.

We spoke for 4 hours and 20 minutes (actually, four hours and 45 minutes with breaks). It dropped once or twice, but we just reconnected anyway. Sound quality was superb. Lag, if any, was not noticed. Absolutely NO dropped packets. I heard EVERYTHING he said and likewise. The only complaint was with his mic - it picked up too much background noise.

Not to say it was as good as phone quality. Voice was sort of dull.

The next day and the day after we did about 2 hours each.

Again, YMMV. A friend of mine (who also has broadband) calls someone else (also in Pakistan, also using dialup), and usually gets better quality with MSN.


vonsen
Just Because
Premium
join:2005-01-06

1 edit
reply to Simmer911
We could agree to disagree. If someone gets better quality with msn than skype, it is contrary to my experience, but the bottom line is that they found something that works with them. Use whatever works best for you. My objections centered around the original poster's premise that skype is "nothing but hype" which IMO, is BS. For whatever reason he was expecting skype to seemlessly tie into PSTN and upset when it didn't. Which in no way jives with his subject line. Where are the skype claims that it is a pstn replacement rather than internet telephony? Skype does what it was designed to do well. You can't blame a dog for not being a cat. If you don't like it, don't use it.