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Skype

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Julia, Sep 13, 2009.

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  1. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    Can anyone give me an outline re how Skype works?

    I gather it's not phone to phone, as VOIP Stunt is, but rather both parties have to be registered with Skype and have microphones which presumably are plugged into the tower?

    Are you then able to have a normal conversation without the annoying pauses between something said and the other party hearing it? This is what happens with VOIP Stunt and it's very disconcerting. Poor quality phone line too.

    Any comments would be much appreciated.
     
  2. kennas

    kennas hoarding tinned food

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    Can Skype computer to computer and compter to landline and mobile.

    Skype computer to computer is only limited by the connection. Sometimes it's good, sometimes average, but generally OK. If the line is bad, hang up and start again. Free.

    Computer to landline or mobile the same. I can call a landline in Australia for about 8c a minute!

    Best thing is totally free video Skype with friends and family back home.

    I must enjoy it while the 'free' part lasts.

    Long term, fixed lines and regular mobiles are cactus.
     
  3. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    Thanks, Kennas.
    So if I want to call a landline in Australia, to someone who does not have Skype, I can do this, but need to have a microphone?
    e.g. I don't use my phone, but speak into microphone, and person at the other end just picks up phone and talks as usual?
     
  4. Nyden

    Nyden G.E. Money Genie

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    Skype is fantastic. I regularly call someone over in the states, and the quality on Skype is enormously superior to that of an ordinary phone, there isn't even a comparison.

    Many devices can be used with Skype, there are headsets with microphones, (good for conversations with webcam used, as well) there are wireless phones, with the receiver plugged into the computer - and even better, there are wireless phones that require no computer at all. However, you'll need a wireless network in your home to use that. An example of a wireless phone would be the iPod touch, all you need to do is plug the special microphone into it, and bingo!

    In fact, if I recall - 3 Mobile even have a phone designed for Skype, that allowed something like 200 hours of Skype talk each month, completely free. How great is that?
     
  5. Nyden

    Nyden G.E. Money Genie

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    Yes, although there are easier ways. As mentioned, there are actual wireless phones that you can buy, that may connect to the internet (either through the computer, or through your network) - as well as your dedicated phone line. This will allow you to make / receive regular phone calls, as well as Skype calls - all on the one handset.
     
  6. Boggo

    Boggo Well-Known Member

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    I will second that Nyden.

    I use Skype to text mobile phones (it can be setup so that the text appears to be from your mobile phone number) and for general chat and files and chart etc swapping during the day.

    MTPredictor stockmarket software support are now on Skype 24/7 and will respond immediately if they are not busy on another call.

    Just put $10 to $20 in a Skype account and it will last for ages.

    As kennas alluded to earlier the quality of the internet is an issue if you are not on broadband.

    One item that I did notice on the latest update was that it automatically installed an addon to Firefox browser which scans every page for phone numbers and provides the ability to just click on that number in Firefox and Skype will call it. I found that it slowed down my browser a bit so I have disabled it in "addons".

    I find that the best quality reception etc is when using the laptop built in microphone, in my case case seemed to cut out a slight lag that I had on the desktop with a plugin microphone.
    Always use a headset to listen otherwise you will get an echo.

    Hope this is a help.

    .
     

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  7. So_Cynical

    So_Cynical The Contrarian Averager

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    Skype is VOIP as far as i know...perhaps the Skype software is better at handling the call or handles is in a different way? im reasonably sure Skype have there own servers, perhaps there own network in some places too. :dunno:

    Anyway VOIP can provide very high quality's calls, the reason why many people don't get the high quality calls is because they want cheap calls....cheap when it comes to VOIP means packet loss, because the providers are jamming as many calls as they can into a certain bandwidth in order to get the per call cost as low as possible while maintaining profit.
     
  8. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    Thanks, fellas.

    I don't want to buy another phone. Would only use Skype infrequently but on those occasions it's a long phone call which becomes expensive at ordinary Telstra STD rates.

    Before I buy headset/microphone, I'd like to be sure that there isn't that pause (as happens when stuff bounces off a satellite) which I experience with VOIP Stunt, and that having bought said headset/microphone, I can use that at my end, no use of my phone is involved, and the person at the other talks on their phone as with a normal phone to phone call?

    If not, it would seem easier to just continue with the simplicity of phone to phone VOIP Stunt.
     
  9. Boggo

    Boggo Well-Known Member

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    Not aware of how much pause you get now Julia but it is slightly noticeable that you are not talking phone to phone when on Skype mainly if the other person starts talking while you are talking then it garbles but it is not an issue by any means.

    There is no use of your phone Julia, just your computer.
     
  10. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    Isn't VOIP the basic technology, and VOIP Stunt (which I have) a provider?
    It's less the poor quality and more that irritating and disconcerting pause every time each person says something that I want to get away from.
     
  11. sails

    sails Well-Known Member

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    Julia, I wonder if the pause is more to do with the internet connection than just VOIP Stunt. Hubby was out west of Mackay last week and he was using VOIP Stunt on his laptop (with headset) to call our home phone. It was crystal clear with hardly any of those irritating pauses. I don't know what internet the motel were using, but it must have been pretty good.

    We can't get any decent internet where we are staying at present and have settled with Three USB internet sticks. We find it hopeless trying to call a land line with VOIP stunt so perhaps it has something to do with the internet connection. This is our current internet speed - a bit sad after having around 6-7 Mb/s previously:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I believe you have it right. VOIP is the technology and VOIP Stunt is a provider.
     
  12. bellenuit

    bellenuit Well-Known Member

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    I assume you mean the delay you often see on TV when reporters are reporting live from Palestine or somewhere like that using satellite communication. After the person in the studio speaks, it can be 3 or 4 seconds before the remote correspondent can reply. Its not like that at all. I use Skype to Skype regularly with a family member in the USA. As soon as one stops speaking, the other can immediately begin. If both try to talk together, then it becomes garbled until one of the callers shuts up. That even happens on my normal phone to phone conversations on land lines.

    Skype has some extras that you may not be aware of.

    Skype identifies you by your unique Skype user id, not by your computer, so you can log on to Skype on any computer that has the s/w installed. I have just returned from Bali and have noticed many Internet cafes have Skype installed on their PCs. This means you can make a Skype call from Internet cafes, which can be free to other Skype PCs or for a fee to phones. In the later case, the fee will be deducted from your pre-paid balance (if you set up a pre-paid balance) and is very cheap.

    Once you log in, your contacts can see that you are online (if you allow them to). They are then able to contact you and it doesn't matter if you are on your home PC or anywhere else in the planet.

    As well as having a voice converstion on Skype, when the other end is also a Skype user you can have a text to text converstion using Skype. This can be in realtime at the same time as the audio conversation, in realtime instead of an audio conversion (like IM), or asynchronously (like e-mail). When in conjunction with the audio conversation, this can be ideal for passing info such as URLs (you can paste it and the other end can the copy it) or for something you want them to make no mistake on (an address for instance). Skype keeps a log of all these text conversation for as long as you want.

    You can (for a fee) create a dedicated Skype phone number for your userid. This is just like any telephone number, but those who call the number get connected to you wherever you are logged on to Skype. This allows non-Skype users to contact you whenever you are logged on by just calling that number. I don't use this service myself, so I am not sure what the other end pays to make such calls.

    I've been on Skype for several months and am extremely pleased with it. The next time I go overseas, I intend to buy a net PC and put Skype on it. This should be a cheap way to stay in touch, particularly as many hotels and cafes now offer free broadband to patrons using wi fi.
     
  13. shag

    shag Well-Known Member

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    anyone with iinet voip, or is skype better
    iinet isnt cheap for naked plans, fast tho apparently and phone plugs to yr modem/router
    tpg allows another voip plan, but fixed plan and no permanent contact no.
    its not the cost, more my loathing of telstra.
    if copper dies then i guess the pipes/fibre optics will change it all again, protocolwise.
    copper still isnt dead yet, too useful and universal. insitu too.
     
  14. jono1887

    jono1887 Well-Known Member

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    You can get skype to work on mobile phones now which can save you quite a bit. I think it uses the data connection of 3G as opposed to the ordinary phone lines.
     
  15. Go Nuke

    Go Nuke Well-Known Member

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    Skype is free to skype...VOIP you have to pay for.

    You also need a VOIP capable modem where as you don't for Skype.

    Though the quality of VOIP is better than Skype but I dont notice it.

    Skype is very cheap to phone landlines overseas with.

    The one thing i HATE about Skype, even with all my settings correct, I get spammed messages!! They have been less over the last few weeks but sometimes they were REALLY, REALLY bad and there's no way to stop them.

    But overall don't let that put you off. Skype is great considering its free to other skype users.

    You can use a webcam too.


    Only other downside, your computer has to be on to receive Skype unlike VOIP. So i just leave my computer on nowdays in case friends overseas decide to ring.
     
  16. aleckara

    aleckara Well-Known Member

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    VOIP is a generic terms for "Voice over Internet Protocol". A protocol = a language computers use to talk to each other. It is definitely not something you are paying for. What you are paying for is someone to talk VOIP to (a provider).

    To add to the confusion there are quite a number of different VOIP protocols. Shype uses their own proprietory protocol which is quite good IMO. Internet connections are measured by two things, their bandwidth (what most call their speed) and their latency (which I believe should really be the thing people call speed).

    with VOIP what matters is not your download capacity but your latency. Inconsistent latency is even worse as the software finds it hard to adjust for changing conditions. Latency comes out as the lag from when someone says something to when the other person hears it at the other end. Mobile phone broadband has terrible latency so completely not suited to VOIP.

    The best analogy I can give is of a truck and a car carrying fuel to the same destination - the truck can carry more fuel at once and so per trip delivers more fuel (i.e download speed). However if the car arrives before the truck even if has delivered less Kilobytes/Sec it has delivered its smaller payload quicker. Since voice data isn't a great big payload anyway you would rather get it there quicker (less lag on the phone) than wait for the truck to fill up with a few seconds of phone data and only then send it.
     
  17. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    All really helpful responses. Thanks very much.
     
  18. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    Since last using Skype, my computer has had a re-install of XP.

    An email from Skype tells me unless I use up my credit within 7 days I will lose it.

    When trying to make a call, my user name and password come up, the amount of credit remaining shows, but when I click on "make a call" I get a small screen which says
    Could any of you IT people kindly advise if there's some simple way to cure this?

    With thanks.
     
  19. WaveSurfer

    WaveSurfer Manic

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    I don't use skype Julia, but I know what the problem is.

    The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT skype protocol entry is missing in your registry.

    Try re-install skype would be my first option.

    You can also check your registry to see if this key exists:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\skype

    I'll hunt around to see if I can find the exact entries for the registry that you appear to be missing.
     
  20. Boyou

    Boyou Well-Known Member

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    Aha!..a really useful thread..

    I just recently installed skype...has answered some of my questions.
    Now all I need to get is a microphone.

    Thanks Julia and all the tech heads.. :)
     
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