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Skype Unlimited World review

Barry de la Rosa
24 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
7.99
inc VAT per month

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Specifications

Skype is the best-known VoIP service, but it doesn't currently support the SIP standard (a beta SIP version is being tested), so other VoIP users can't connect to its network.

However, the Skype application also works as an IM client and alerts you when your contacts are online. This makes Skype the piggy in the middle. Because there's no interoperability with other VoIP clients, there's less incentive to adopt it for VoIP calls, and in the crowded IM market it has to compete with Microsoft's Live Messenger, Google Talk and others from Yahoo!, AOL and ICQ.

Still, Skype's ubiquity across a range of devices (including mobile phones), IM capabilities and ability to make video calls means it's more likely that your friends and family will be using it, which means you can make free calls to them. It's this that makes Skype a great option, and it's worth having even if you subscribe to a separate VoIP service.

The monthly packages include options for unlimited calls within specific countries, so if you have contacts in only one country it can work out much cheaper than a broader international package. You can also buy a number in a choice of 23 countries, which means that contacts in those countries can call you at a local rate, although it will cost more per month than a standard subscription.

Skype's widespread adoption means that its convenience will offset its expense for many, but whether it's worth paying for its services will depend on your needs. Judging from our usage scenarios, it's far from the best value here.

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