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Thread poster: Eleni Makantani
Skype: advantages and disadvantages

Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 15:27
Partial member
English to Greek
+ ...
Jan 31, 2008

Hello everyone!

I know that many of you use Skype. I would like to find out what are the advantages, if there are any disadvantages, and how they could be dealt with, as well as if it actually reduces the phone bill.

Thank you!


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:27
Partial member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It works beautifully Jan 31, 2008

The only disadvantage is if your internet connection is slow and you use it to make voice calls. In that case, the sound may be a bit jaggy or you may have awkward delays in transmission. Otherwise, it works beautifully. The sound quality is usually better than that of a conventional phone, and you can't beat the price.

[Edited at 2008-01-31 16:12]


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Dr. Derk von Moock
Greece
Local time: 15:27
Greek to German
+ ...
Flat rate Jan 31, 2008

I use Skype and it used to me a lot of money.

But cheaper ist buying a telephone/ADSL flatrate with a provider who owns his own net, so you don't pay OTE pagio. I don't know whether it is possible on Corfu. You can write a PM and I will tell you more about the providers.
Derk


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Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 15:27
Partial member
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Viruses? Jan 31, 2008

Thank you!

What about viruses? Does the use of Skype make the PC more vulnerable? Can it be exploited by "attackers"?


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:27
Spanish to English
Another advantage Jan 31, 2008

Three or four years ago a computer hack told me that it is properly encoded so that your chats and conversations cannot be spied upon.

I don't know if this is still the case, but with the erosion of privacy, on the internet, it is a nice plus.

As for viruses, I cannot see how you could get a virus through Skype, although I'm not an expert, except through the feature where you can send and receive files over a chat. But you don't have to receive any files from people you don't trust.


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Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:27
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
only good things to say Jan 31, 2008

A friend told us about Skype years ago, but we only just recently started using it. Our experience is that it works great with a good internet connection, but it also works okay with a bad connection. You just have to turn off the video feature.

It's definitely more convenient than driving to the Russian grocery store to buy those "call home" cards!


E


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Elin Davies  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
English to Welsh
+ ...
Indespensable for me Jan 31, 2008

I use it as I travel quite a bit, and like to spend long periods of time abroad but have to continue working in order to do so. I have a skype in number, so it doesn't matter where in the world I am, my clients can still get hold of me on the same number. If I'm out, my calls are forwarded to my mobile, so again, clients don't have to have a mobile number as well nor wait for me to reply to a message. It's excellent for calling internationally with good rates as far as I've been concerned and the quality of the call is normally excellent.

I would advise you to go for it, but also to invest in good headphones and mic, or possibly even a skype phone if you have wifi.


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:27
Portuguese to English
a great boon Jan 31, 2008

I support everything that all the other contributors have said. I've had Skype for 2 years and the sound quality has improved enormously - as Steven says, it's often better than a landline. The chat function works extremely well, too.

You can check the prices of calls to different destinations on the Skype home page - http://www.skype.com/intl/en/ Calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world are free. You can also call landline (fixed) phones and mobile phones for a very small charge (typically 1 euro cent/minute) though I find that calls to mobiles in another country are still quite expensive.

The vulnerabilities are non-existent, I think. As Lesley says, you can refuse to accept any file sent to you over the chat programme. It's worth, however, looking at the privacy settings in the Skype software to restrict who is allowed to call you - unless you want to be pestered by strangers from all over the world at all hours.

Otherwise, I'd say, go for it!

[Edited at 2008-01-31 19:20]


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 14:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
only advantages for me Jan 31, 2008

I've been using Skype for a couple years, and haven't seen any downside yet. I talk to my mother in the United States several times a week, so I've saved a lot in phone bills. Some of my clients also contact me through Skype (either voice or instant messaging) to see if I'm free for new work, rather than phoning or sending an e-mail. As others have said, the sound quality is usually very good. I can only recommend it.

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Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:27
English to Dutch
+ ...
You can also get a phone number in other countries Jan 31, 2008

One additional advantage of Skype is that you can set up a phone number in another country, which then rings on your computer.

For example: if you have clients in the US, you can get a US phone number (cheap, I haven't checked, but $10/month keeps popping up in my mind) and have people call there. That takes away a huge barrier for (potential) clients.

As a good freelance, I work all times of the day and night and don't mind being woken up by someone who wants me to do a translation. However, clients' minds work differently. They may not want to call another country/continent, they worry about what time it is and so on. Giving them a 'local' number to call, means that they are more inclined to call. And more calls means more business and money.

Also: I love Skype, I pay $3 a month for unlimited calls in the US and Canada. I call my mother in the Netherlands (who still has a rotary phone!) for $0.02 per minute. And I did away with a phone line (which cost me at least $25 a month).



[Edited at 2008-01-31 19:35]


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gflan  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 14:27
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Skypein is fantastic Jan 31, 2008

I second Benno's comments -- I just noticed that Skype was offering numbers in France again after a hiatus of a few months, and I quickly bought a number. Now I have two skypein numbers: one in Chicago and another in Paris, and both of them are routed to whatever computer I am on at the moment, anywhere on earth.

The lines are very cheap, and they come with free voicemail, which allows me to deal with time zone issues. I have customers call me and leave messages all the time, and I check them at my convenience. (I haven't yet figured out if it is possible to check skype voicemail from a telephone line though, I think you need to access it through your computer.)

Finally, there are phones available now that plug directly into your router, so you don't have to have your computer turned on in order to make/receive calls. I haven't tried this yet, but as soon as I find a nice phone at a decent price, I'll be sure to pick one up.

Hope this helps,

gregory


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:27
Member
Italian to English
Ήσυχη, Ελένη, το Σκάιπ λειτουργεί θαυμάσια Jan 31, 2008

Being able to call up my brother in the UK for nothing for the past couple of years - recently with the improved Skype 3 video - has certainly enhanced the quality of my life

Πάρτο να το χαίρεσαι!

Giles

[Edited at 2008-01-31 21:33]


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Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 15:27
Partial member
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Congratulations, it's a Skype!!! Feb 1, 2008

Well, my dear colleagues, it seems like you've made me want to try, too!

I'm planning to take a break later today and get me a headset.

Thank you so much for your friendliness.

And, Giles, θα ακολουθήσω τη συμβουλή σας.
Ο καλύτερος τρόπος για να "σκλαβώσει" κανείς έναν Έλληνα είναι να αγαπά την Ελλάδα...

Thank you!


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Skype: advantages and disadvantages






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