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Old 18-05-2016, 02:17   #1
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VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Like many cruisers, I use VOIP just about every single day I'm not offshore. I use it to make normal voice calls either Skype to Skype or Skype to telephone, and I use it to have conference calls.

Skype has such good audio that with an even half decent data connection, you can hear nuances of people's voices that you never heard on telephones. Nowadays on the boat, I have the best conference calls I've ever had, far better than what I used to have on office conference systems costing tens of thousands.

But Skype is fundamentally malware which uses your data traffic for different purposes without your permission, and you can't even close the program to stop this without going into task manager and killing it. And the latest software version will update automatically without any way in the world for you to turn it off. On a boat with metered connections, this is becoming unacceptable, and in any case I fundamentally don't like software which controls me rather than the other way around.

So are there any reasonable alternatives? I have a SIP account from FreelyCall which I use for some calling to telephones because it is much cheaper than the quite expensive Skype Out service, but the quality is poor. I use Zoiper with this, and I like that it is highly controllable, but it is buggy and the audio quality, no matter how much I experiment with different CODECs, is a far cry from Skype. And to have conference ability you have to use the paid version, and good luck getting the dozens of people I conference call with to all buy a copy.


What to do? Skype is like the European Union -- seduces and bribes you with incredible audio quality and universality (free trade and open borders), then screws you with everything else.
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Old 18-05-2016, 03:31   #2
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

I use voice/video/screen sharing over IP extensively for work every day, and tried many different ones. What I strongly recommend these days is Zoom (Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Online Meetings, Webinars, Screen Sharing - Zoom).
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Old 18-05-2016, 05:16   #3
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

I've used a few SIP providers over the years. Currently use magicjack (app only) on my ipad. Seems to work well over any LTE or solid 3G service, as well as good wifi. It's cheap, and gets me a local Canadian number, which not many VOIP providers offer.


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Old 18-05-2016, 05:26   #4
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

You may want to check out Skype for business version. It is tied in through Microsoft Office and the malware issues you describe are no longer relevant depending on the operating system installed on your computer. With Windows 8 or newer or the Apple software, there should be no issues. Our company uses this for our conferencing which now includes video as well as excellent audio quality.
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Old 18-05-2016, 05:27   #5
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Jeepers, with Verizon charging only $20 for 1000 minutes international calling from the USA and Vodafone Italia charging only 10€ for 300 international minutes including 3GB of 4G internet... it's hardly worth shopping.

20GB data here in Italy costs 30€. Why isn't it this cheap in America where Al Gore invented the Internet?
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Old 18-05-2016, 05:33   #6
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Can some please make a recommendation for a quality VOIP phone app for iPhone? FaceTime is hard to beat.
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Old 18-05-2016, 05:38   #7
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Jeepers, with Verizon charging only $20 for 1000 minutes international calling from the USA and Vodafone Italia charging only 10€ for 300 international minutes including 3GB of 4G internet... it's hardly worth shopping.

20GB data here in Italy costs 30€. Why isn't it this cheap in America where Al Gore invented the Internet?
Because American Corporations are, "GREEDY" and want every penny they can get from hard working Americans..
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Old 18-05-2016, 05:59   #8
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Can some please make a recommendation for a quality VOIP phone app for iPhone? FaceTime is hard to beat.
FaceTime is very good, I have VIBER as well. Try VIBER, it's free app and clear voice quality.
VIBER has a Windows version too.
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Old 18-05-2016, 06:04   #9
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

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Originally Posted by Jsta_Rebel View Post
Because American Corporations are, "GREEDY" and want every penny they can get from hard working Americans..
I'm more inclined to say it's the result of crony capitalism, when large corporations donate huge amounts to politicians, who then appoint regulators, who then squash competition in the marketplace. Basically corruption.

Then us little people pay the price.

Back to the OP, has anyone been successful using Skype on an iPhone? My wife went android, or rather I went apple and screwed up the family network. Now we have half of each. A daughter and me on apple and wife and other daughter on android.
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Old 18-05-2016, 06:10   #10
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I'm more inclined to say it's the result of crony capitalism, when large corporations donate huge amounts to politicians, who then appoint regulators, who then squash competition in the marketplace. Basically corruption.

Then us little people pay the price.

Back to the OP, has anyone been successful using Skype on an iPhone? My wife went android, or rather I went apple and screwed up the family network. Now we have half of each. A daughter and me on apple and wife and other daughter on android.
Yes I still have Skype on both my iPhone and iPad. In my own opinion Skype is using more battery in standby mode than VIBER.
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Old 18-05-2016, 06:10   #11
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Are you sure Skype is still acting as a data transfer hub? I thought there was an option to kill it. We ran into it a few years ago. I did something (which I no longer remember and stopped it).


I do have Skype for Buisness on my work computer. Works fine. Haven't seen evidence of it acting as a data hub (I have to believe companies would throw a fit first time they got a huge data bill)
If the other person has WhatsApp, that can function also but can't call a number.
I think google has a free VOIP service but if Skype is doing something I bet google is.
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Old 18-05-2016, 06:22   #12
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

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Originally Posted by omc View Post
Yes I still have Skype on both my iPhone and iPad. In my own opinion Skype is using more battery in standby mode than VIBER.
Is there workaround the entire inviting friends game? Is there a way to just dial up a number regardless of whether or not the person on the receiving end is using Skype?

Is there a service where I can simply dial a number?
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Old 18-05-2016, 06:35   #13
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Is there workaround the entire inviting friends game? Is there a way to just dial up a number regardless of whether or not the person on the receiving end is using Skype?

Is there a service where I can simply dial a number?
Yes to the three questions.
Be aware Skype is charging fees by minute PLUS connection fee when you call mobiles or landlines.
No connection fee when calling mobiles or land lines from Viber.
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Old 18-05-2016, 06:43   #14
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Jeepers, with Verizon charging only $20 for 1000 minutes international calling from the USA and Vodafone Italia charging only 10€ for 300 international minutes including 3GB of 4G internet... it's hardly worth shopping.

20GB data here in Italy costs 30€. Why isn't it this cheap in America where Al Gore invented the Internet?
Would you please be so kind as to post a link to where I can buy
1000 minutes of international from Verizon for 20.00
I have been a Verizon customer from the days of 55 cents per minute
Domestic Analog and have never seen this rate !?
I have used Skype Out ( or whatever it's called today)
all over Europe with no problems from my IPhone as long as I had a good
Wifi signal. Just started using What's App with great success but the other party
Has to have it on there phone also
Cheers
Neil
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Old 18-05-2016, 06:46   #15
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Re: VOIP Alternatives to Skype?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Would you please be so kind as to post a link to where I can buy
1000 minutes of international from Verizon for 20.00
I have been a Verizon customer from the days of 55 cents per minute
Domestic Analog and have never seen this rate !?
I have used Skype Out ( or whatever it's called today)
all over Europe with no problems from my IPhone as long as I had a good
Wifi signal. Just started using What's App with great success but the other party
Has to have it on there phone also
Cheers
Neil
Greetings,

Skype Out is now working with 3G and 4G / LTE too.
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