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Anyone use Skype?

Hi,

We used Skype as our only means of calling home on our trip to Austria in 2013. We had our iPad Mini, wifi only model, with us and will bring it again this year. We were always able to use Skype at our hotels. Anything change? Is there an easier way? Skype is cheap, so I did't ask if there's a cheaper way.

We have a cell phone and use T-Mobile if that's of any help.

Paul

Posted by
28145 posts

I use use Skype video and audio frequently.

Not much has changed except for the ownership.

The only thing cheaper than cheap is free. Skype to landline or mobile (cell), Skype to skype is free, if both people have iPhones r Macs then Facetime and iMessage is always free, if both people have the WhatsApp app it is also completely free for video, audio, texts, photos, and calls.

I use all of those, depending on who is at the other end.

Posted by
8997 posts

If you have a high-end smartphone phone you can use Tmobile's WiFi Calling service. It works just like Skype in that whenever your phone is connected to Wifi you can make/receive calls free of charge. Actually better than Skype in that you can still use your phone number and calls to land line/mobile numbers most anywhere in the world are included in the Simple Choice unlimited plan.

More details here:

http://tinyurl.com/ment9ct

Posted by
2725 posts

No smart phone. I actually use an LG 450 flip phone.

Posted by
2526 posts

I use Skype frequently, both while in the U.S. and when out of country. Works very well. A small credit balance allows me to call landlines and mobile phones at cheap to reasonable rates depending on the country.

Posted by
504 posts

My spouse and I will be using it on my trip to London. He has a headset with mic at home, while I'll have my tablet. We don't have a web cam so mostly we'll just be talking. So far as I know it's free if you go computer-to-computer.

Posted by
28145 posts

SandraL

you can get a wireless webcam for teeny tiny money these days and it makes a difference to see each other....

Posted by
703 posts

Paul, we use VIBER instead of skpe on our trips. we find it works better, and is also free.( Providing each person has it on their device)
we have been using it every day for the last month to talk to our daughter who is travelling in Europe at the moment.
we often use it at home for the same purpose. at home we have found that apple face time works even better. ( for poor wifi)

we use VIBER extensively on free wifi. we find that most of the time the free wifi is not good enough to be successful for video but voice and particularly texting works good.
the feature that I like the most is that I can send messages, video/voice etc at any time and they sit there and the person at the other end can see them when they next get wifi. perfect for travelling with time zones etc. also there is no time delay, you wouldn't know the person is on the other side of the world.

we haven't used the viberout feature to call landlines, so can't comment on how much it costs etc.

a tip, give it a try at home with a friend, before you go.

hope this helps.

Posted by
2725 posts

Thanks everyone. I'm going to go with Skype, as I still have an account set up. I was told by a T-Mobile rep today that I could use my low tech LG 450 to call home from Europe with the Simple Choice Plan.

Paul

Posted by
2165 posts

Yes, you should be able to use that low-tech phone to call no problem. The only catch is that since you can't do wi-fi calling on it (presumably) you'll be paying 20 cents per minute. Any interest in upgrading to a phone that has wi-fi? I paid $50 for mine and it does everything...email, internet and wi-fi calling.

I've done the Skype route for calling before TMobile got so darned excellent for European travel. It was ok. I had a Skype number and forwarded my cell to the Skype number before I left home so people could just call my regular number and reach me...IF I was in my hotel or apartment. And then call quality was always just ok, nothing great.

There's nothing simpler than getting to Europe, turning on your phone and being set to go. TMobile made my traveling a lot easier and I love it.

Posted by
4698 posts

Get the people you are calling on Skype too and then you pay nothing.

That said I primarily use Whatsapp as the call quality is better. Still free.

Posted by
18388 posts

The problem I've found with calling, either from a landline or Skype, is the time difference. When I'm getting up in the morning, people back here are just going to bed and don't want to talk. And I getting ready to go out and don't have time to talk. When they're getting up in the morning, they are on their way to work or school and don't have time to talk. By the time they get home, I'm in bed asleep.

I've found that plain old email works better. I can send them an email when it is convenient for me, they answer back when it is convenient for them.

Posted by
2930 posts

I assume if you have one apple product, you have more? If so, why wouldn't you just use FaceTime on your iPad mini?

Posted by
2725 posts

We have an iPad and at home an iMac. The few people at home we need to stay in contact with back in the U.S. do not have iPhones, iPads, etc.

Lee, We use Skype before heading to dinner (approx. 5 to6pm Austria time) and/or late evenings, before we go to sleep (approx. 11pm Austria time). The people we really need to stay in contact with are retired, so this works fine.

Posted by
18388 posts

We have an iPad and at home an iMac. The few people at home we need to
stay in contact with back in the U.S. do not have iPhones, iPads, etc.

An iThing is not necessary to use Skype. I've used it between Windows PCs, and I think once between my PC and an Apple laptop.

Posted by
2725 posts

Lee,
That was in response to the post about having more iThings and using FaceTime.
Paul

Posted by
138 posts

On our trip last month, we used the telephone feature through Facebook to talk to our 16 year old. It was amazing - sounded like she was in the room next door. We facetimed first but the hotel
WIFI made that challenging so we switched to calling through facebook.

Posted by
17 posts

i used Skype on my last trip to Germany as the way to communicate with my husband every night. Either the family I was staying with or my hotel had wifi. It was fun to pass the phone around and give everyone a chance to talk. I was visiting my former exchange student.

Posted by
17 posts

i used Skype on my last trip to Germany as the way to communicate with my husband every night. Either the family I was staying with or my hotel had wifi. It was fun to pass the phone around and give everyone a chance to talk. I was visiting my former exchange student.