I loved Skype a few years ago. In fact I wouldn't even be participating in this review had I not been browsing online for something new to replace skype. Back in the day it seemed like I always got very good audio and video resolution and it was a program that stayed in the background unless you wanted it to seen. I am afraid like most all good things after it becomes noticed it is starting to get bogged down and intrusive. With Microsoft involved it can only get worse. I don't need ultra safe security that bogs everything down. I need simple, clear video communication. If someone wants to listen in while I'm video calling my wife and kids overseas be my guest but you need to get a life.
I use this program for communication with my friends as well as for in-office discussions. It is easy to use and does not need a lot of attetion. Just commercials sometimes irritate but it is a small flaw. Good!
I'm far from my home. I usually use Skype to talk with my parents. Skype has excellent voice and video quality. I can also share my desktop and windows to show my parents several things. If Skype supports remote control, that'd would be so great. Event without remote control, Skype is still the best messenger for me. I strongly recommend it for voice and video calls: "Just Skype your friends".
I'd been using Skype as a free service for years, but couldn't understand why the company so proudly touted its value. My calls were abysmal in quality, despite consistent high speed Internet access (Verizon FIOS or Comcast cable); the interface difference for Mac & PC were counterintuitive--lacking the polish we've come to expect from the ubiquitous user friendly apps pervading the market space, and free services like Google Voice offered an easier to use product with comparable (still poor, alas) voice quality.
But last year I bit the bullet and invested in Skype Premium, thinking for the money I'd get a substantially better product--especially call quality. I couldn't have been more wrong. Most of the time the call quality is so poor that the other person snappishly orders me to call them on another line. The conference call (with or without video) function is so terrible that whenever I've tried to use it I've had to cancel the meeting and have everyone come into the office anyway. Embarrassing when the other parties are clients.
I wanted to use Skype for a small business, but the product is so unprofessional, so laughably inept it is just a liability for us and we don't use it anymore. And yet I keep getting updates from Skype to continueextend my paid service with them. Although Google Voice exhibits similar voice quality issues, they're a free service. Until the Internet-VOIP infrastructure is widely reliable, we'll stick to the more expensive, functional options.
Skype is nice. Phone calls are cheap and free on some phone numbers. I am pretty happy about that. Broadband is not required. Be no snobs, boys.
Videoconferencing is great. I'm happy with the overall communications.
Skype's client software is poorly designed. It lacks a suitable workflow, and is clunky. It lacks polish and finesse.
In spite of several updates to the v5.x branch, the interface hasn't become any better. In fact, it went from being just annoying and unfriendly, to abusive and lacking etiquette. For example, Skype always wants to open its windows on start, rather than keeping to the systray, thus causing the user to have to manually hide the window.
The best interface I've used is in Trillian Astra IM. It demonstrates a greater level of polish and improved workflow. The skinning is great - my favorite is the Avion Pro 5 skin.
The newest beta of Trillian v5.1 build 8 has native Skype support, with texting and voice calling working. Video calling and sound event support should come soon hopefully.
Skype needs to wipe out their current interface, and start over from scratch. This early-2000's interface style they insist on using doesn't cut it by today's standards. Out with the boring, and in with something that's modern, hip, and fun to use.
Skype is a good IM client but some things are done very stupidly.
I'm used to the Windows Live Messenger interface or way of doing things and the default is to have the chat and buddy list all in one window. Usually I'm chatting with only one person so why do I need to see the buddy list while I chat? At least there is an option have the chat window break off of the buddy list.
I'm not too fond of any sort of skinning so it's a good thing Skype has the option to use the Windows theme you are using. Automatic updates are a pain. I like my programs to alert me only when there is an update and I can install when I want but Skype installs updates for me. There is no way to change this setting and I remember Skype having this ability with previous versions. When I first install Skype I tell it to only install the IM client and not install Skype Toolbars. When the automatic update happens, it installs Skype with its default options and there is the toolbar I didn't want. Now I need to uninstall the toolbars which thankfully is a separate installation.
Overall this is OK for the novice user but for me I would like to have options.
Ugh. Skype's customer service is the worst of any company I've ever done business with. And if someone is about to chirp "free service," just hold on one second. I pay between 300 and 500 a month to run business telephony through Skype Manager. Maybe the product should work...?
Don't even bother with their live chat. It's just poorly trained Philippinos selecting canned responses from a list. Most of the time they aren't even listening to you. Can I speak to a manager? Nope. After you waste an hour or two (because their response time is so slow and they are so stupid) on the chat they want to shuffle you over to their email "support."
Email support is the same crummy waste of time extended over days or weeks. I almost forgot that a save button is grayed out and not functioning until I get an email response from Skype a week later instructing that does nothing to solve the problem.
I could go on forever about the problems with Skype Manager. If the company had any sense they'd take opinions of heavy Skype users into account or at least offer semi-intelligent customer support. Hopefully Google or someone else will develop a platform not so riddled with bugs, and I'll be able to get away from Skype forever.
For the most part, I've had good results with the software. Ive only lost connection once during a video chat. It's very easy to set up and make camera adjustments, etc. The sound and video came over well, with full screen viewing looking good. Give it a try. If you don't like it, don't gripe. Just take it off and move on. It's free.
I call clients in Europe and all over North and South America often. Skype has almost completely replaced landline usage on my end. I have not experienced any quality degradation or connection issues after a few years of use. My only suggestion is to allow the use of more than one Skype account on a single computer without having to switch users. It would be handy to have both work Skype and home Skype available on my main user account for either place (hint to 3rd party developers ;-).
This used to be a wonderful little program and is still useful if you're doing computer to computer communication, but that's it. If you're a paying customer, it's nearly impossible to get support. Skype Forums are available, but it's a volunteer community and the people there have no ability to fix anything. Call quality to the PSTN (i.e. the regular phone network) varies drastically. For months, I had complaints from the people I was calling that I was inaudible. Skype never fixed the problem. I was on a T1 line BTW. It's fine still for computer to computer, but horrible for the PSTN.
I mainly use for cheap PC2Landline calls. Delays are 2-3 seconds on calls due to routing and I can say that the sound is inconsistent. Sometimes I had to call and hung up for 3-4 times before the other party can hear me! Can be improve but if u really needs a clear call, advise u better avoid this...
I've been trying to use SKYPE for a few months now. Initially, I had paid for skype out and was not credited for it. It is, however, impossible to obtain a response from "support".
Since I needed the service (only VOIP service available in my area) and didn't want to wait any longer for a response from support, I paid for it again.
After a few people responded in odd ways to my calls, I called myself on my cell phone, my home phone and my office phone. The sound quality on each message is VERY poor, with dropped sound, echo and inexplicably, every "s" sounds like "sh" - I don't have a lisp.
Once again, back to "support", the only access to which is online submission of a problem.
In my experience, I get better support from free software than I do from this service, which in the end was quite a bit more expensive than advertised (having paid for it twice).
Nice interface and cool emoticons. Everything is cool and it certainly kicks all the others chat's as* in all the ways.
The Cons is that they offer calls to South America extremely expensive. Like twice the price than with a normal phone card.
Well, I think I started using Skype as a junior Beta Tester. Had to report all the bugs, waiting for updates and fixes... Not for me.
So I got the final version of Skype (which I do not recommend for all people who want to overload the lines!)And here I am, still reporting bugs as an obsession for the good of mankind. (yeah, right!) The end!
Rather large footprint but moderate system resource usage. Pretty straightforward interface. Relatively easy to use. However voice quality is poor to good only. Stability while on a call is very intermittent.
Skype is a featured soft-phone that lets to call other skype users for free. However it can also call standard phones and receive calls from other phones, but it needs credit for this. It also lets conference-calls and chatting. It is also very user-friendly.
You will not go wrong by installing and using Skype.I call friends in Denmark, United Kingdom,India and central China. Amazingly CLEAR with no lost connections. I also use their "skype out service" and blown away with it's clarity. If you could ever imagine calling by way of undersea cable back in the 70's, now this...what are you waiting for? Get connected..no, I am not a Skype employee...just a very SATISFIED customer..jp
Have never used any of the paid services on offer, but for talking to other Skype users this is great. Very easy to install and configure, and no problems in use.
Messengers can't log in because of problems but skype is always there for you.
Well i will make this brief. I got sick of trying to talk on audio chat with msn messenger and trillian pro as they both sucked on my dial-up so i gave this a try. WOW, what more can i say. Nice gui, simple as apple pie and WORKS like a dream! If u dont get this then it is your loss.
Some people are always asking about anything "What's BAD about it?". Other people always start by asking "What's GOOD about it?".
I belong to the latter category.
As SKYPE is continuously improving, its quality is getting better all the time. Third party plugins, such as Pamela (the free voicemail utility), are available and add to an already magnificent SKYPE experience. Personally, I'm quite enthusiastic about SKYPE.
If you want to make totally free calls to fixed phone numbers in a large number of countries, then try the VoipBuster program. You can use VoipBuster along with SKYPE. The two programs complement each other and live comfortably in your System tray. Enjoy!
Skype is all hype as far as I'm concerned. If you want to pc to pc chat to someone get Yahoo IM or anything else.
If you opt in to the Skype Out plan here you'll find that a lot of calls cost less using a standard mobile phone or landline (depending on what offers your provider has enabled)!!
All this chat for 1p a minute stuff is rubbish, you are charged vat on whatever you top up, then vat on top of the minimum call charge, it all adds up sharply.
Skype are a rip-off in a big way.
As for Customer Service..what Customer Service? It does NOT exist.
If you really want to know how good Skype is why not log in to their forums and view just how many dis-satisfied customers they have. It's alarming!
Don't say I didn't warn you!
I have had nothing but an entirely negative experience with Skype after paying for their fee-based services. Customer support is non-existent, even for paying customers. Trouble tickets go unanswered, and from my experience, do not even generate an automated response. Paying customers' problems vanish into a black hole somewhere. I'll use it for free, but I'll find another provider when I wish to pay. And, although they supposedly offer a full refund if service is unsatisfactory, my refund has yet to appear. Caveat emptor.
It is a good instant messenger and great Internet telephone. Drives my personal firewall crazy and it uses 26 mb of ram, i would not recommend putting this program on your terminal server. We are now looking at Google talk.
I remember using the first software to make phone calls over the net back in 1997, VocalTek, by an Israeli startup. They were the pioneers in this field of internet communications. It wasn't as smooth as Skype is today.
Overall Skype is very good. I haven't tried other programs.
What bothers me is that when somebody is calling, you easily might miss the call, unless your speakers are on and you see the screen.
The alert is TOO small, tiny. To be more effective it should be something like 4x6 or to be able to change the size and the color.
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