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Safety and availability of Skype in Venice, Rome, and Florence

I was last in Europe in 1986, so needless to say, I'm clueless on this subject.

I would like to video Skype home a few times during my RS trip if possible--particularly on Mother's Day. I know there are Internet cafes in Italy, but I'm a little leery of security issues. Do others use Skype for personal use when abroad, and how do you do it? I just set up a separate Skype account (don't want to use my work account for this). From the home page, it looks like I can get Skype worldwide service for free for one month--I won't sign up for that until I'm closer to my trip.

Thanks for any advice.

Posted by
4695 posts

You can get Skype "worldwide service" free for as many months as you want - as long as you are just calling other computers and not phones. Skype is free everywhere. ;-) Skype costs you only want to call a regular phone or receive calls (get a real phone number). Between two computers, anywhere in the world, Skype is free.

I'm sure there are still internet cafes in Italy at least in the tourist hotspots but fewer and fewer people need them, as more people bring tablets, phones, and laptops on vacation with them and free WiFi is everywhere. No doubt you can find an internet cafe with a Skype camera on its computer.

I'm not sure what "security" issues you are worried about with a Skype account you have setup only for travel? Sure, it's a little scary these days to use a public computer at an internet cafe for anything like your personal email account and obviously unwise to do things like bank and credit card stuff on a public computer. But for a limited use Skype account, what are you worried about? At worst, someone gets your Skype password. (Hint: use a different password for Skype than you use for whatever email account you have associated with it.) I suppose someone could monitor the Skype calls you make, but you'll be making them in a public place anyway without much privacy.

Consider getting a small tablet, netbook, or a smartphone (with forward-facing camera) to take with you instead. Then you can use Skype anywhere there is free WiFi and not worry about people in an internet cafe spying on you. (Public WiFI has its own security worries, but I'd think they are much less than at an internet cafe on a public computer.)

Posted by
2525 posts

"You can get Skype "worldwide service" free for as many months as you want - as long as you are just calling other computers and not phones." My experience is that calling another Skype user (regular calls and video calls), whether that person is utilizing a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, is free. Skype calls to all others typically cost a few pennies a minute.