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Reviews » Skype Internet phone service

Founded in 2003 in Estonia, Europe by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, Skype is currently headquartered in Luxembourg and has offices around the world (London, San Jose, Prague..). In 2005 the company was acquired by eBay.

Skype's business model was a very successful one from the beginning. The company started with providing a free to download software for people to make calls using their Internet connection. Over time other free services were added such as free in network video calls, conference calls, call forwarding and more. To these free services one can add paid subscriptions for calling landlines/mobile phones.

Unlike other VoIP services we review, Skype is popular not just in the US, but also around the world and, according to some sources has over 300 million users as of 2008 (most of them using the free service). Skype is mainly focused on providing free and low cost international calling.

Skype does not replace your main telephone service provider

While most VoIP providers try to totally replace your traditional phone company, Skype is mostly a computer based service which does not provide all the features that usually come with a telephone service such as 911 emergency calling and so on, hence the lower priced plans from Skype. In short, Skype is used for placing cheap calls and does not replace your main phone service provider.

Service highlights


Skype offers regional, world and single country calling plans for a monthly fee. For some countries unlimited calling is offered while for others a limited number of minutes is included. If you spend a lot of time on the phone Skype plans (especially the unlimited ones) might be a good option for you. Make sure you compare rates with other providers' - I noticed that, in the case of plans with minutes included Skype charges a rather high rate for calling some countries.

Pay as you go

There is also the option of prepaying for Skype credit. Again, rates can be surprisingly high for calling/texting some countries, especially given Skype's "low cost calling" reputation. There is also a connection fee with prepaid calling.


Skype is generally used with a computer. You can also purchase a phone or other needed accessories from the Skype website.


Free calls and video calls to other Skype users, voicemail, voicemail to text, in network conferencing, etc.

Online numbers

In certain countries Skype provides regular phone numbers that redirect to your online Skype account. This way, people from your country (if included in the list) can call you locally when you are online no matter where you are in the world. Voicemail is included.

Skype customer reviews