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post #21 of 92 Old 08-13-2007
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There's another freebie called "iCall Internet Phone" as well. New company so there's no telling how it will go--but another alternative for free internet phone calls for now. Voice quality wasn't as good as Skype when I tried it, but that may improve.

Any of the VOIP solutions will be stressed over dial-up, even if you have a clean fast dial-up connection. Still, if anyone remembers how an "overseas" call USED TO SOUND they're not so bad on their worst days.
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post #22 of 92 Old 08-13-2007
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MY impression is that most of Skype is free with some paid addons. Vonage is paid even for the basics.

How is the free Skype different than vonage...Especially as it applies to cruisers living on the hook with off & on wifi access?
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post #23 of 92 Old 08-13-2007
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Vonage: You pay every month. Your calls are free (in the US & ?) both in and out. And it hooks up to telephones.

Skype: It's FREE AMONG SKYPE USERS, no monthly payments. But, you have to make calls at your computer (or the new accessory/phones). And you have to pay per minute for calls OUT to non-skype users, etc. Totally different payment models and policies. Easy enough to check out at skype.com.
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post #24 of 92 Old 08-13-2007
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With Vonage, you get unlimited free calls to the US, Canada and some Eurpoean countries, voicemail, call forwarding, etc.

Skype's model, as HS has pointed out is free, but only among Skype users. If you want to contact people on their phones, it costs money. Voicemail is also an additional charge. I also believe that it costs money to get incoming calls from regular phones on Skype.

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post #25 of 92 Old 08-13-2007
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With Skype and a headset you can connect to other family and friends who have downloaded the free skype software for free. You can also use VIDEO with a $29 web cam...You can also type chat like on AOL's AIM.
You go online to the skype site and buy increments of connection time with your credit card for when you need to call people on their phone if they don't have a PC. It is about 2 cents a minute to do this. There are additional pay services like voice mail available. I used it on wifi in harbors and on land wherever there was a decent wifi connection thorughout the Bahamas and Caribe and of course it works in the US as well.
Here's a good page on what is free and what is not:
http://www.skype.com/products/priceoverview/
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post #26 of 92 Old 08-13-2007
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As I have not been improving my sailing abilities or experiences in the last two years (boat has been on the hard ), there are only a few threads I can comment/contribute to. This is one of them. Skype has been a godsend for communicating with family in Canada (I'm currently in Georgetown, Guyana). I use a laptop and headset. the bandwidth is not great here but adequate. Skype to Skype is free and the quality tends to be better than phone. Skype to phone, again depending on available bandwidth, varies. Overall, very satisfied. Skype also makes, or rather markets skype phones, one model even is a combination wireless phone and skype wireless phone. A really neat idea: http://www.skype.com/help/accessories/devices.html

Also a wireless cellphone thing specific to wifi but have read mixed reviews about those.

I've also heard of competitors but skype seems to have the formula with the most buy-in.

Mark
Now based in Barbados.... and wait for it.....the boat is too!

Waymar - Jeanneau, Attalia
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post #27 of 92 Old 08-13-2007
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As many of you have pointed out Skype to Skype is free. But there appears to be misinformation regarding the cost of Skype to or from another phone. I paid $15 for a year of unlimited "Skype out" . This allows me to make unlimited calls to anywhere in the US and Canada. That was a special price the normal price is $30. I have not checked into Skype in but I believe it's considerably cheaper than cell phone or Vonage. Before I go to the Bahamas I will be checking to see if my Skype out is covered with my North American coverage.
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post #28 of 92 Old 08-15-2007
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I've used Skype/wifi from the Bahamas and was very impressed with the call quality and price. Calls to a US land line cost about .02/min and I believe there was a .30-.40 connection fee which is paid out of a $20 Skype credit account - not sure, since it was a borrowed connection, but I have opened my own account in anticipation of our next cruise.

To help with distant connections from the hook, I've added Netstumbler and these 2 items to my laptop inventory.

Antenna - http://wirelessgardenstore.com/detail.aspx?ID=314
wifi adapter - http://www.engeniustech.com/datacom/...ls.aspx?id=154
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post #29 of 92 Old 08-15-2007 Thread Starter
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rljend, How well does the wifi adapter and antenna work ?

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post #30 of 92 Old 08-15-2007
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Haven't tried it on board yet, but from inside my home, I'm able to recognize at least 5 additional connections to the south of me whereas, with my laptop antenna, I'm able to see only my own router.
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