Skype calls ABSOLUTELY FREE to US & Canada!


Active Member
Skype, as of May 14th, had made all outgoing calls to land lines & cellphones free in the US and Canada. I downloaded the new beta last night, and installed it. When I tried to make a call, it said that I needed to purchase "Skype Credit". When I woke up this morning, the calls are indeed FREE. I suppose throughout the night, Skype contacted it's servers and got "permission" of some sort to open up the free calling. I live in West Palm Beach, Florida, and have already called my mother in Phoenix, and Sister in Detroit to test it out. The call quality was great, and I am definitely going to be using this more often! I am on the edge of my cell area here, so the call was much better than when I call from home using my cell phone with it's free Long Distance, (Unless I stand next to the window with one foot in the air and point North :D )

The major drawback is it comes up as unknown on Caller ID on the other end, with a phone number of (000) 012-3456. So it would be advantageous to let people you are calling to be aware of that number, and not consider it a telemarketing number.

Skype says that all the outgoing calls will be free till the 1st of next year. What happens then is unknown.

You can Check out the Article On Skype's Site Here.
Hahahah! Hopefully they will extend the free service.

I am sure this "promotion" is also making them money, as I just purchased a phone number from Skype ($12.00 for 3 months) so people can also call me. I am sure many other people will do the same.

My mother is on a fixed income, so I set the phone number up in her area code in Phoenix, so now she can call me at any time for free by simply calling a local number. She called me this morning, and we talked for about 30 minutes without a single drop out or any interference/audio artifacts whatsoever.

I have used Skype for PC to PC calls for quite a while, but never for PC to Land Line or visa-versa till now. I have to say I am impressed with the quality.
How do you deal with the fact that Skype then steals your bandwidth for everyone else? What about the fact that Skype is totally proprietary?

from the EULA:
Permission to Utilize. In order to receive the benefits provided by the Skype Software, you hereby grant permission for the Skype Software to utilize the processor and bandwidth of your computer for the limited purpose of facilitating the communication between other Skype Software users.

(Can you tell I loath Skype....SIP forever) :D
Wow, I guess you DO loath Skype! :D

First of all, it is not "Stealing" my bandwith. Stealing is something that happens when you are unaware that someone is taking something from you. The EULA states it pretty clearly as you quoted above.

I look at it the same way as I look at my BitTorrent app. Shared bandwith to improve my experience. I have DSL With a 1.5 downlonk, and a max uplink of 256. With Skype running, I see no bandwith changes from when it's not running to when it is. (I have a BandWith widget on the desktop.) I'm sure at times it may want a few k here or there, and I don't have a problem with that at all. When I make a call, I could be using someone else's bandwith to keep the connection stable and clear... it all works out in the wash.

Second, as for being propritary, that normally bothers me (mainly with hardware). With Skype it's not an issue for me. I have a phone number that ANYONE can call with a cellphone, Homephone, PDA, or any Softphone that is capable of dialing a land line (Including ANY SIP client). I am also capable of calling any landline or cell as well as SIP client that is set up with a phone number. If I am away from the house, Skype forwards the calls to my cell phone, costing me nothing (Other than minutes), or the person calling me (Other than their normal LD charges). I simply do not need anything more than that.

With SIP I would be looking at an average of $8 US per month for an incoming phone number through one of the companies offering it (IE: InPhonex) , as well as purchasing minutes to use the SIP to land line feature (Aprox 2¢ per minute US-2-US).
I am using Yahoo's Widget engine (Fromerly Konfabulator). Yahoo bought out Konfabulator, and then made it free.

There are 2 very good Bandwith monitors, One HERE and the one that I use HERE. It will work on any network connection (LAN, Internet (DSL, Cable, Dialup ect)). I like the 2nd one as it is compact, uses little resources and has uplink as well as downlink plus a running total.

There are lots of other widgets to just about anything you would like such as weather, stocks, photo albums ect ect... Please Note that some of the widgets will steal some of your bandwith :D

Here is a screen cap of the top right corner of my currect desktop. Top Right is memory Free, then the weather widget, and at the bottom the bandwith monitor.


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ooooooo He said STEAL! :D

BTW,, I think it necessary to qualify my opinions about VOIP by saying that I work in the industry. :D

I wouldn't worry about bandwidth too much, at least not at the "backbone" level of the net. I personally worked in an industry that OVERBUILT the networks by approx. $51 BILLION at its peak in 2000 or so then crashed and burned like high explosive dominoes after the dot-com bust. So the capacity is pretty much already in the ground or on the shelf. As for the jobs, not so much ;) So use Skype, I do, and like it a lot, particularly since my local AT&T charges here in the backwoods got to the point of having a normal bill of say $34.00 go up to $47.00 every time I made $4.00 of occasional long-distance calls (adding up all the "service charges" etc.). What a racket...