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View Diary: Screw the Telephone Companies-Go Skype,Gizmo,Jaja (29 comments)

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  •  bad advice (0+ / 0-)

    Skype is a peer to peer system that steals bandwidth from users who are not behind firewalls to carry calls from users who are.  Skype has been banned from a number of universities for this reason.

    Skype is a proprietary system so buying skype hardware locks you into using skype only (except for skype compatible headsets that usually work with other software).

    Skype does not use industry standard SIP protocol that is used by most software phones, WiFi phones, PBXs, and dial in/dial out providers.   The Internet is based on Interoperability.   Skype does not interoperate.    With SIP
    you can call from one network to another and switch to another network as well.   Visit to see a list of over 1500 networks that interoperate using SIP.
    Would you use AT&T if you couldn't call Sprint or MCI customers?    That is what the world of proprietary systems like Skype is like.   Skype only works on computer systems for which skype software is available (no PDAs, for example).

    There are many standards based VoIP providers.    An example network I have used which is good for low volume usage is sipphone/gizmo.   Siphone has no monthy or yearly fee.    PC to PC (or SIP to SIP) calls are free.    Calls to most major countries (including US) are around 2 cents per minute.   Dial in number $35/year (no per minute fees) in many cities; area code 775 numbers are free (gizmo software only).  You can buy minutes in increments as low as $10.  
    sipphone is a network and Gizmo is one softphone which can access that network.   There are other companies which offer unlimited US calling for a flat monthly fee (broadvoice is just one) (typically around $20/mo) and some which have local dial in numbers in more cities.   For $20/mo, broadvoice lets you make unlimited landline calls to 21 countries, including the US; includes E911 service and dial-in number.

    Look up VoIP and Skype on wikipedia.   Tucows has a VoIP section that lets you compare rates and features of different providers.   Be sure to check the BYOD/SIP box on the advanced search to weed out the crap.

    Bear in mind that some providers (such as skype) provide hardware at a reduced price that is locked to their specific network, sometimes even when using standard protocols.  Sometimes you can get locked hardware unlocked after you have used the service for a certain length of time.

    One vendor who sells a variety of hardware:
    You can get gateways (that let you use your normal corded/cordless phones to make VoIP calls) for $40 and
    fancier gateways such as the linksys SPA-3102 ($82) which
    can also let you route VoIP calls from your PC through your local phone line (has both FXS and FXO ports).

    -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

    by whitis on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 10:37:09 PM PDT

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