So, does anyone know anything about how well Skype works? I was looking around and I came across the Skype page, it seems that I can get unlimited calls to any US or Canadian landline or cellphone for $2.95/month. That’s a heck of a deal. I’ve used VOIP before (Comcast) with no problems, does Skype work that well? I would assume incoming calls are included, but it’s not clear from the website. Also, does anyone know how hard it would be to spoof caller ID if I was using Skype? I sometimes do business calling from home to save me a trip to the office, if I could make my office number appear on the caller ID it would be great (occasionally I get a callback “Who is this? Your number was on my caller ID.”) I don’t actually mind callbacks…but some people feel compelled to make them at midnight or 3AM, and having my answering service take them would be better. Also, does anyone know, would I be able to port my current number if I chose Skype? Any experiences anyone might have to share are appreciated.

Skype works well if the people on both ends of the conversation have their sound levels configured properly, and are not using speakers to hear the other person.

There is nothing worse than hearing your own voice repeated back to you at the other end. It ruins the conversation.

I have a mac and I’ve been using it on a limited basis for about 2 1/2 years. I’m using the free version so I only talk with other computers but so far I haven’t had any problems. It’s great for video chatting.

What about using it to call people with traditional phones? That’s what I’m interested in.

I’ve been dealing with a guy who has what I think is a New Zealand accent this week. He insists on using Skype. He’s not actually in NZ, in which case I might understand. He’s in France.
Anyway, it is extremely difficult to understand what he is saying sometimes. VOIP does that weird robotic garbling thing which, combined with the unfamiliar vowel sounds, renders him almost unintelligible.

I dunno, we seem to be going backwards in audio fidelity in phone calls. Good old land lines work great, mobiles are generally OK but can be terrible, VOIPs are fucking awful a lot of the time. (I realise that phone companies use IP themselves, I guess they spend some of your money on managing the traffic a bit better than the likes of Skype can.)

I have a friend who travels about half the year. He uses Skype to call me a couple of times a year. I have no problems with the quality, though I think he uses a headset and sometimes he needs to reposition the microphone. The problem is that the places from which he makes the calls seem to have somewhat tentative connections. When he gets through, it’s fine; but it may take him a couple/few tries. He called from New Orleans a couple of weeks ago and fell offline and he had to go reset the router in the house he’s staying at. I don’t know if it’s Skype, or that he just gets bad WiFi service.

I regularly call a friend in London on Skype. The quality is hit or miss, but the Skype goes to a server that sends it to his cel phone, so maybe there is a break down there.

As a comparison I called him at work on his landline on Vonage and the quality was very much improved - a huge difference.

I’ve recently started using skype and am surprised to hear about quality issues - the sound has been crystal when I’ve used it, like the person is actually in the room with me. The only problem I’ve had is with my friend in China where we experience about a half second delay in send/receipt, but considering the call is free I couldn’t care less. Note I’ve only used it to talk to other skype users, not tried it to a regular phone yet.

I’ve been participating in conference calls between Canada & Japan, and Canada & the U.S., using a mix of landlines, cell phones and Skype, for several years now with very few problems. There are occasional reverb issues with one of the Skype participants, but it might be his set up, as no one else in any of those three countries have the same problem.

i am in Prague and just used Skype tonight to place outgoing calls to regular phones (land and mobile) in the US. The quality is excellent. My internet connection here is very fast (20mbps down, 1.5mbps up), but I have also used it on slower connections in Dubai and elsewhere to call all over the world.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Skype a 9… it has been great for me.

I’ve been using Skype for a couple of years when conferencing with other students in my masters program. They’re located all over the world.

Like Illuminatiprimus, I’m surprised to hear the sound quality issues others are experiencing. The hallmark of Skype calls has been the phenomenal sound quality. I wear a two-ear headset with mic, as do my correspondents, and it’s like were whispering in each other’s ears. Full tonal range, nuanced expressions, incredible fidelity.

But we’re not ganging the system to other media, which can only introduce problems.

The deterioration of telephone quality since the pervasive adoption of cell phones has been a significant social impediment, from my perspective, and getting people to use Skype when they want to hold a real conversation has been a godsend.