ANSWERS: 3
  • I've never used Skype, but my sister says it's good. She also says it has a good quality - sound and good pickup if your mic has good pickup.
  • It's very good indeed, free software and free internet telephony, or very cheap calls to conventional phones worldwide. The quality is variable, but for the price, who cares? There is also a very useful chat client and file transfer facility.
  • I'm very excited to have free long distance phone calls, through free internet WiFi connections. I've made about 100 phone calls through Skype and can always hear the other party just fine. No disconnections, and no static. However, about a fourth of the time the other party complains that I am very faint. They struggle to hear for a while, and we finally give up. I've heard that this is a common complaint. When Skype goes from computer to computer, it is crystal clear. But when your call is routed to the external telephone systems, their transfer equipment seems to do a low-quality conversion on your outgoing voice. I expect they'll have to improve this over time! Speaking directly into the microphone seems to help, or just calling back again. About 10% of my calls are for important business, in which case I use my cellphone just to be safe. A friend at work spends several hours a week talking to people in China... You can't beat the price!

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