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Monday, August 16, 2004

skype and IP telephony...

i've been using a service called skype for making calls to friends in the US, lebanon and some undesirable countries and the connection has been unbelievable. its freely downloadable at skype.com and for calls to another skype user its free. they also have a service called skypout through the same interface to dial to non-skype users (ie regular phones).
i was skeptical about skype's claim that they are better than conventional phones but when i made a call yesterday to the US without any special hardware (not even a headset or mic) it was like we were in the same room! if anyone uses it then please share your experience.
there is another interesting and cool service that i haven't used called vonage(.com). in short it allows you to have a virtual landline - any phone number in the world can call you without software, internet connection, etc. i think so far they can issue numbers in most of the US as well as the UK and other telecom developed countries. this is the first of a wave that's quite shocking as conventional carriers morph into pure IP-based providers - the implications are quite startling!


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