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Old 05-02-2013, 16:50   #1
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Skype as Phone Service for Live Aboard

My wife has an elderly mother who lives in England. We live in Australia and about to move aboard our boat as live aboard. AT this stage we will be in a marina and will have reasonable WiFi and or 3G/4G broadband coverage but no phone land line. The mother-in-law likes to ring several times per week from England but her phone service doesn't seem to let her ring Australian Mobiles.

Has anyone used the Skype phone numbers as a "Home phone number" rather than just mobile numbers?

Obviously you need reasonable internet coverage for it to work, but I am more interested in if it works as described, what the costs are (Seems I can request a UK number so it just becomes a local call for her).

Is there an alternative to Skype I should look at?
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:00   #2
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Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

I use the free Skype service to call back and from from the US to the UK quite often and it works great. The free version requires you install the software on a computer (I use my laptop) and keep it online when you are expecting a call. Works well and great fidelity. But as you mention, have to have a good internet connection to work.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:02   #3
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Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

skype is not usable for emergencies, so says skype.....i use skype to contact my momma and the friend who caretakes my ericson in san diego....
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:15   #4
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Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

I will have a laptop on board that I can install the software, but hoping to use the free iPhone Skype app and leave it signed in. I have used this Skype to Skype when my daughter was travelling and seemed to work ok. More interested in NONSkype to Skype and the other way.

I think I only need to pay money if I am calling people who don't have Skype (Like the Mother-in-law). Just not sure if it costs anything, other than internet bandwidth, to receive calls.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:21   #5
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Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

i live on san lucas cove in bcs mexico.i use skype for all my calls.i have an arizona skype phone #.if you have a decent wi fi connection it's great.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:36   #6
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Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

I've used the Skype Number service quite successfully while traveling and sailing. For the most part just use Skype, but when the other party justs wants to be able to connect using a plain old phone it works quite well. And, as you noted, you can get a number that is "local" to your most frequent user. As long as you have Skype running at your end the other end can just pick up a phone and call. Only problems I have ever had are when I have Skype problems in general (low bandwidth connection, high latency, all the things that kill Skype).

IIRC correctly Skype has a use-it-or-lose-it style policy where credits in your account (that pay for things like Skype Number) go away if you don't use them regularly. Other than that, works well for me.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:37   #7
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Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

Hi,
I use skype computer to computer (free) and also from my cellphone to call my friend's mobiles and landlines in the UK, which is cheap - about 2 cents per min. You set up an account online with skype and then call as usual.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dod42 View Post
Has anyone used the Skype phone numbers as a "Home phone number" rather than just mobile numbers?

Obviously you need reasonable internet coverage for it to work, but I am more interested in if it works as described, what the costs are (Seems I can request a UK number so it just becomes a local call for her).
Hi Dod42,

Yes, I've had Skype numbers for about 7 years.

Yes, if you get a UK number then people calling you from that region will pay only local fees.

I moved to the states from Sweden so I kept a Swedish number in parallel with a US number for a while. Now I only have a US number.

I'm currently located in Mexico and the 3G phone connections here are often good enough for Skype calls.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:05   #9
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pirate Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

I use Skype all the time.. calls around the world for cents as opposed to euros/call... just bang $25 into my account now and then.
All my friends have comps so free video calls are reserved for them.
Was very useful in Panama when I was phoning chandlers etc all over the place... have a facility on my phone that forwards on to Skype any calls and viki verka...
Never tried having a dedicated number though... must look into it..
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:12   #10
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Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

Yes, Skype can work well.

I have purchased a skype "landline number" ... which is a normal UK landline telephone number. I have configured Skype to ring 6 times on the PC if it is on, and then divert through to my actual mobile phone number, and then to skype voicemail (so if I don't pick up the voice mail gets it).

The net effect is that I have a local UK number which effectively calls on my computer and on my mobile (any country where skype-out works ... most of em) so anyone wanting to contact me has a UK landline number to call. When I move countries I buy a local sim, and change the diversion within Skype to the new number.

Works well!
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:12   #11
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Re: Skype as phone service for live aboard

Google Voice is well worth considering. I prefer it over Skype. It's free and we use it to call the US when we're outside the country. I also have a Google phone number that forwards to my cell phone. I think your best bet might be to obtain a UK phone number that your mother can call that forwards to your phone. Eventually Google may charge for their services but as of now it's free and quite useful.
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Old 25-03-2013, 02:43   #12
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All these solutions are great, the only problem being a reliable Internet connection that works wherever you are. Are there any descent satellite connections that are fast enough for Skype?
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Old 25-03-2013, 04:15   #13
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Re: Skype as Phone Service for Live Aboard

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All these solutions are great, the only problem being a reliable Internet connection that works wherever you are. Are there any descent satellite connections that are fast enough for Skype?

This is incorrect.

I have no landline. Sometimes my laptop is not on. This does not stop my son from using skype to call me.

I have a skype-in number in UK where my son has a normal landline in-country call. It calls skype. If I am on line, it connects to my laptop. If I am not on-line, the call is forwarded to my mobile. This entails an incountry mobile charge to me on my skype bill.
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Old 25-03-2013, 04:34   #14
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Re: Skype as Phone Service for Live Aboard

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This is incorrect.

I have no landline. Sometimes my laptop is not on. This does not stop my son from using skype to call me.

I have a skype-in number in UK where my son has a normal landline in-country call. It calls skype. If I am on line, it connects to my laptop. If I am not on-line, the call is forwarded to my mobile. This entails an incountry mobile charge to me on my skype bill.
What I mean is, to use skype-free (without a number) for keeping in contact with people, while cruising anywhere in the world, you require some form of internet, be it wifi, satellite, or 3g, etc.
So what does everyone use? I hear of people using satellite, but due to its cost they seem to use it just for weather and email. Am I right? Or are there cheaper options?
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Old 25-03-2013, 06:11   #15
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Re: Skype as Phone Service for Live Aboard

Mbada

We have been using Skpe for about three years. We have a Florida Telephone number with voicemail and call forwarding, when we have a cell phone. The credit card companies and bank like you to have a telephone number and this has been acceptable. SKYPE also sends email to you to advise when you have voicemail.

We found that Skpye works well when you have good bandwidth, which is not always possible in foreign countries. We have an external Wifi Antenna and usually buy a local Internet 3G/4G stick, if we need one.

For us, in Mexico and Central America it was hit or miss, especially in Panama were we tried several local Internet Cell Companies. Wifi provided by Marinas tends to be really slow during peak times, because the boaters are all doing the same thing, downloading movies and talking on SKYPE.

If you were willing to pack up your IPAD or Laptop, you could usually find a Internet Store or Cafe that would be fast enough to connect. I suggest buying headphones with a mike for that purpose.

Satellite Phones do not have the bandwidth to support SKYPE or any voice over internet software.
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