Skype vs. Every Other VoIP Provider

12 February 2008

Technology questions are inevitably lobbed my way when I attend
family get-togethers, and the holiday that just passed was no
exception. It seems that a couple of folks were seriously considering
signing up for some kind of VoIP
service (one pointedly remarked on the near-flood of promotional
material he was receiving about the service from his cable company),
when someone piped in, "What's this Skype thing I keep hearing about?"

All VoIP services allow you to make and receive voice calls via your
broadband Internet connection, but there are important differences
between Skype and other VoIP services. Here we'll compare them in some
key areas so you'll have the information you need before deciding to
try one or the other. The exact features and capabilities you get with
VoIP service depend on the provider, but for purposes of this
discussion we'll broadly divide VoIP services into Skype and non-Skype
(the kind you obtain from cable and phone companies, plus third-party
providers like Vonage).

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