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orion411

What is better, Skype or Vonage?

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Which brings up an interesting question.

Let's say, for instance, that he gets 100 replies; 80 of which say Skype and 20 of which says Vonage. Or 60/40. Is he going to pay the slightest bit of attention to the advice?

Personally I would suspect anyone right from the offset if they could say "Vonage" with a French twang with even half a serious face on.

Not that I gave a **** which cut price call system he uses. He'd should just keep it to himself or next thing he'll be posting why Thai birds lie to him all the time.

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I've been a user of Vonage for probably about 10 years. I use Skype as well but Vonage was the first decent VOIP solution in the US where you could completely replace your land line. You buy a small piece of hardware about the size of a Roku player (roughly the same size as the new Apple TV) and you can take your old land line number with you anywhere.

I like Skype too and I use Skype fairly frequently. I may have to look at the pricing again but the reason I keep Vonage is I like the fixed price. I know what I'm getting charged every month. I have the US and Asia plan so I can make unlimited calls to US numbers for the set monthly fee. With the Asia plan, I can also call most of Asia for one set fee as well. And, with a wife who can burn 2 or 3 hours a day calling back to Thailand, I like that predictability.

I've use Skype too but mostly for chat or video chat. Sometimes I'll use the SMS features if sending a one-off text overseas since AT&T charge .25 a message and Skype is about half that. I also use Skype for making calls not covered in my existing Vonage plan.

I don't like the per minute pricing with Skype because I don't like that feeling of constantly having to watch how many minutes or how many credits you have left in your account. And Skype always threatens to steal your money if you don't use the service often enough (if you don't use your balance for X months they send an email saying they'll confiscate the balance unless you make a billable call).

I have to take a good look at Skype though. Since I limit my use to only certain aspects of their service I'm not up to date on their entire offering. I do know that I like that Vonage has a voicemail system so people can leave messages. I also like that Vonage allows you to forward calls to your mobile phone at no extra cost. So, I can be in Bangkok, have someone call me on my Los Angeles number, and have the call forwarded to my mobile in BKK at no extra cost.

If Skype has since added some of these capabilities and the pricing were to be similar, I might opt for Skype. But, I think a big issue will be the per minute vs. flat rate pricing. Vonage has always had the advantage on that one. Not sure if Skype's changed their plans much but if they have, I might give them another look.

I also would like to see what the deal is with taking Skype calls on your mobile phone via the Skype app. I thought I remember a lot of rumblings in the early days that you could only make or receive calls over wifi. So, if even if you had the app on your mobile phone you couldn't make or take calls unless you were on a wifi network. One of the things I like about Vonage is that I can have the calls to my Vonage number forwarded to my cell phone like a regular call. If you had to go hunt down a wifi network for that, it could be a pain in the ass.

The only bad thing I have to say about Skype is that I have one friend who uses it pretty religiously. He's constantly back and forth between Manila, Bangkok, Tel Aviv, and London so he does almost all of his calling from Skype. About 60% of the time he calls me, we have to call each other back 2 or 3 times because the quality of the call is horrible. I've never had as many bad calls on Vonage.

It's pretty cool though how things have changed over the years. When I got Vonage nobody in the US had even heard of residential VOIP. But I traveled a lot and it made sense. Nowadays, everybody has tablets, Skype on their phones, etc. A lot more convenience these days. And internet access and high speed cellular data make it a lot more "anywhere" than it used to be. One of the original reasons I didn't pick Skype as my primary telephone 10 years ago was I didn't want to have to be sitting in front of a computer to take a phone call and make sure I had my headphone and microphone all hooked up.

Now my wife grabs her iPad and sits on the balcony yapping away with her friends back in Thailand or in Europe on video chat like it's no big deal.

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Skype used to be better but recently Vonage has surpassed them in Asia. The main difference now is background hiss. It's quite remarkable how much quieter a Vonage call is.

That's been my experience trying to call my friend on Skype. Lots of background noise. Lots of skipping (i.e. He ow u? Ca ou ear me o?). If you hang up and call back it might be better, but sometimes it's not.

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Skype worked best for me in Thailand, Cambodia and India. Vonage requires a wired Ethernet connection. They have an IP phone for a laptop or smartphone, but it costs an additional $10 month. Skype is much cheaper and worked on my laptop and smartphone. I found DTAC to be fastest Internet provider for my phone and aircard. Tried TrueMove-H and AIS also, but DTAC was much faster Internet and coverage was better. On the west side of Koh Phangan I was using AIS and my friend couldn't keep a Skype call going while tethered to my phone and me using Facebook. Got a DTAC card the next day and he had perfect Skype call and I had much faster Facebook both going through my Samsung Galaxy 3 at the same time.

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