Seeking anecdotes re: Skype (worldwide use)
I wonder if anyone here uses Skype, in particular for voice communications a) from foreign destinations to the U.S. and b) completely within a country other than the U.S.
Re a) I'm rapidly considering a trip to Israel, hopefully of about 4 weeks, in late winter or spring. If it were only a week, I'd not care, but I might have to contact coworkers, check on family, etc, and having just started a Skype account (I know, way behind the power curve), I wonder how well it works to call landlines or cell phones in the U.S. from elsewhere. (My un-researched belief is that Israel's Internet service is not censored as it is in certain of its neighbors ...)
Re b) Are there any places you've visited where you've attempted to use Skype but found it impossible because of draconian rules? Even without taking censorship into account, phone tarriffs can be incredibly complicated.
FWIW I use Skype all the time for both US and international video calls and it works near-flawlessly if both ends have a solid broadband connection. I've Skyped with a friend in Israel many times and it looked like he was in the next room on the same network.
I have a second hand experience story to tell. As we were leaving dinner at a place in Maine I spotted a couple who both had iPhone's and I had to laugh because I was playing with my iPod Touch during the dinner using the free internet connection the resturant had. We struck up a conversation and they were from Austrailia and they were using the iPhone to stay in touch with their kids and friends back home. The each had one and the mom was telling me how she used Skype to talk to her kids. The kids were recording the converstations for others and posting them on a website somewhere for laughs. She was very excited about it. It seemed like a great way to share the experience.
Here's my experience with (a): I live in Hong Kong, where I use Skype regularly to contact folks back home in the U.S. I call both land lines and cell phones and have had no problems getting through. Also, the connection is very good -- in fact, people on the other end can't believe I'm talking to them through my laptop.
In addition to HK to US calls, my husband uses it to call me, on the land line and cell phone, when he has to travel to other Asian countries for work. Same story; it works great. We're both now big fans of Skype.
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