Sunday, November 30, 2008

Skype phone calling is too good to be free

I just signed up and made my first international call. It wasn't quite free; it cost 4 cents for 2 minutes. A step-by-step guide to Skype. - By Farhad Manjoo - Slate Magazine
Earlier this year, I called my phone company to talk about my bill. For years, I'd been paying about $25 a month for a land line arrayed with a panoply of services that I rarely used—unlimited local calls, cheap long distance, call-waiting, and several other fancy options. I wanted to cancel all of it. I've long used my mobile phone as my primary line; I'd only kept the land line because I get poor cellular reception in my house. A year ago, though, I switched over to Skype. It beats cell phones and land lines in both price and quality. Best of all, it's portable: I can use the same phone plan to make calls from home, from the office, and even from hotels around the world—again, for very little money. Skype isn't new—it launched in 2003, and millions of people around the world use it. But because Skype is so unbelievably cheap, I've run across lots of people who still consider it some kind of Internet dark art—a service with mysterious inner workings, one that requires some kind of special equipment or technical know-how to get it up and running.
Read about it, then sign up - for free! Then it's 2 cents per minute.