Skype may be best known for its free video chat, but the company is also a provider of cheap VoIP services. While its pricing is hard to beat, Skype’s affordability is indicative of the service’s overall functionality; its service plans are slim, offering little more than basic calling features.
The service provides call waiting, voicemail caller ID, call forwarding and call transfer. However, it lacks call return, call blocking and other convenient and useful features.
Despite its bare-bones feature set, Skype’s service plans include all the additional options we looked for in the best VoIP providers. You can keep your current phone number or choose a new one with an area code of your choosing, even if you don’t reside there. This VoIP service provides select international calling and unlimited minutes, depending on which of its plans you choose. You can also manage your account through the Skype web interface and make VoIP calls through the Skype app on your internet-connected tablet or smartphone.
With no hardware to install, Skype is easier to set up than most of its competitors. You simply install the software or mobile app to begin making VoIP calls. We should note that with Skype, you are limited to using a mobile device or your computer to make calls; there’s no phone adapter that lets you convert your regular telephone into a VoIP phone.
Skype also provides good support options. The website houses a list of popular FAQs and help topics that focus on specific aspects of the service, including payment and billing, products and features, and technical issues. There are also helpful step-by-step tutorials, a VoIP glossary and user forums. We were surprised to find the service doesn’t offer traditional contact methods for support. The email addresses on the website are for press and media inquiries only. Although we’d like to see one-on-one technical support offered, the available resources are good enough that you likely won’t need to contact the company directly.
Skype is definitely one of the better entry-level, low-cost competitors in our VoIP services lineup. The VoIP provider offers well-rounded service plans, and it is easy to install, even for less tech-savvy individuals. While its feature set is limited, Skype is an excellent alternative if your VoIP needs are minimal.
Skype is one of the cheapest VoIP services available, and it offers unlimited minute subscriptions.
It’s light on features, lacking call return, call blocking and much more.
Skype is an excellent choice for budget-conscious users who need a low-cost VoIP solution.