- Easy access to POTS, excellent sound quality
- Proprietary technology
Despite the lack of interaction with other systems, there are 70 million other Skype users out there
Skype is the big name in peer-to-peer Internet telephony after hitting the headlines with its $2.6b sale to eBay - which seems unbelievable considering their main product is freely downloadable and so are most of their competitors. But what sets Skype apart from most other VoIP clients is a mature, full featured client that offers unsurpassed voice quality.
Skype is an internet telephony (VoIP) network which allows its users to call and speak to other Skype users for free. To do this, you simply search for other Skype users on the network and make calls to their PCs using a microphone attached to your PC. You can also make calls to traditional phone lines, but this service is charged.
Unlike the majority of VoIP client software out there, Skype doesn't use SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) combined with RTP (Real-Time Transport Protocol) for calls but instead uses its own proprietary technology which provides calls of remarkable clarity. However, this is also the principal downfall of Skype in a market where broadband providers are increasingly offering SIP based hardware handsets and services to their customers - Skype users can only make free calls to other Skype users, and the technology lock-in means the SkypeIn and SkypeOut services are the only way to connect to Plain Old Telephone Systems (POTS).
Being a peer-to-peer system, Skype offers more than just the basic call setup/teardown functions of SIP and H.323. Users can advertise their availability like in an IM client - available, offline, busy etc. In fact it includes an IM chat client as well. It also offers a centralized directory for searching and connecting to other Skype users - recent estimates suggest upwards of 70,000,000 Skype clients have been downloaded. A nice feature is the "Skype me" search function which locates anyone with the "Skype me" status set - this means they welcome random conversations with strangers who just want to chat. Skype users can also block users from calling them or seeing their status, or set their mode so the only people who can ring them are the ones they authorize. If only a normal telephone could do that.
The interface is clean and easy to use, and the address book can import contacts from Outlook and automatically search the Skype directory for them. It also supports vCards. As for connectivity to POTS - it couldn't be easier. Just login to the Skype website and buy some credit and SkypeOut can be used to dial regular phone numbers anywhere in the world - Skype's backend servers will route the call out their gateways to deliver low cost long-distance calls just like using a calling card. SkypeIn provides a unique phone number that can be used to dial Skype from normal telephones and there is the subscription-based Skype Voicemail service.. Of course, with their lock-in you can only use Skype's service, which is undoubtedly the reason why Skype doesn't support SIP connectivity. That's a shame because it is about the only thing it's missing.
Join the newsletter!
So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 2 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 3 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Bitdefender unveils new 2019 product line
- WWDC 2018: Apple gives us a first look at an all-new Mac App Store
- Apple combats iPhone throttling backlash with new iOS 12 features
- Budget 2018: Government seeks to boost Australian AI capabilities
- JBL take smart speakers back to the living room Link 300
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Canon EOS 1500D: Full, in-depth review
- HTC U12+: Full, in-depth review
- Dell G5 review: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies