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  1. #1
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Google Voice or Skype?

    Currently using Google Talk when at home to make calls from my laptop when I'm at home to save valuable air time on my Tracfone. On the plus side, the calls I place are free and I can talk as long as I'd like. Downside is that it looks like the number that shows up on people's Caller ID varies and that the more I use it, it seems a bit glitchy.

    I've actually tried to sign up for Google Voice, but my carrier isn't recognized. My thinking is that since I don't want to be tied to a new mobile contract, I'd have to research and buy a prepaid/no contract/pay as you go from a supported carrier.

    However, my wife has Skype. She's only used the IM feature so far- she was a mod for a UK based Pokemon themed game site, and that's how the staff communicated. I realize quite a few of you here are happy Skype users.

    Since Microsoft acquired Skype, I was wondering if y'all have noticed any change in the quality of service/product. Any ideas of whether Skype will continue to be a stand alone app or do you feel it's destined to be soley an IE plug-in and only available to people who use IE?
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    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  2. #2
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    I use skype for gaming because my gaming buddies like it (I would have chosen something else). Since Microsoft took it, they have been more annoying with the never-ending security patches and updates.
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  3. #3
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I use both. Skype to Skype is free, and my Google Phone is free to all US numbers for another year.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  4. #4
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    What do you mean, for another year?

    G Talk is going to be a pay service?
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  5. #5
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    What do you mean, for another year?

    G Talk is going to be a pay service?
    No, the ability to call telephones through your GMail App is part of GTalk, though, and THAT will eventually be a pay service.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    No, the ability to call telephones through your GMail App is part of GTalk, though, and THAT will eventually be a pay service.
    Don't know about that. I view GTalk as a freebie with limited features to be a gateway to the pay to use, full featured GVoice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  7. #7
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    I've been using Skype ever since it came out and have only seen it improve. I've only used Google voice a few times but it gets the job done. Most of the people I talk to on Skype are in UK, Ireland, Germany, Holland and Switzerland. Everyone in Europe uses skype it seems so that's why I use it. You may want to consider that as in deciding which to favour.
    If you don't talk to your cat about catnip, who will? =^.^=

  8. #8
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
    I've been using Skype ever since it came out and have only seen it improve. I've only used Google voice a few times but it gets the job done. Most of the people I talk to on Skype are in UK, Ireland, Germany, Holland and Switzerland. Everyone in Europe uses skype it seems so that's why I use it. You may want to consider that as in deciding which to favour.

    Skype also is popular for business in Europe because it's secure. Skype is well encrypted, almost to DoD level security.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  9. #9
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    I've been using a Magic Jack when I'm on the road. it works OK as long as I have a very strong wifi signal, but it's not always reliable. I've been trying to use the Google phone, but had no luck completing a call.
    I'm at home now, and just rang my own phone with it, and it worked fine.
    Don't know what the issue was on the road.
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  10. #10
    Old enough to know better willmw's Avatar
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    I like to tinker with stuff and decided to tinker with one of the new 'magic jack plus' devices. Basically the same as 'magic jack' except that it works with either the USB port OR a regular ethernet connection. It seems to work pretty well, but I've not tested it enough to be sure I'm ready to replace my regular land line with it. You get your own # that people can call as well as have that # show up on the other end's caller id.
    Dangit, I almost only post in Foo, so my post count is abysmal.

  11. #11
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    I love skype, I don't bother with a land line.
    "harder" is not a very good safeword.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CPcyclist's Avatar
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    Voice as I can forward to other phone so I now use only one number... added bonus I can easily send my boss straight to VM after hours, or while on vacation.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I'm now on the fence about Voice. I've been using Talk quite a bit over the past week, and if my experiences with it are any indication of what to expect from Voice, I'm not sure it's going to be worth it. I'm averaging 4 attempts per call before establishing a connection.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    I haven't played with Google voice because the one time I checked, the area code numbers were not available to be assigned. With daughter now in Switzerland, now using Skype, and possibly Facetime when she becomes eligible for a cell phone (Swiss restrictions). Befor moving, she got a US number that she can make "local" calls to the
    States. While we primarilly use the video Skype, when using the phone version, it is OK but you have to get use to the delay trasmission, as not as smooth as what normally associate with voice transmission. The nice thing about the voice version is that you do not have to coordinate both parties being in front of a computer. Yesterday, she called her cousin to wish a happy birthday...and caught him in the grocery store where he was very surprised to get a call from her in Switzerland, and quickly adapted to the voice transmission delays.

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I don't have a land line and have been using Google talk almost exclusively for making local and long distance calls... it has some little bugs but for the most part has been quite reliable and I do have Skype as well.

  16. #16
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    my family are on skype so skype it is. I can't be bothered even trying anything else.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Currently using Google Talk when at home to make calls from my laptop when I'm at home to save valuable air time on my Tracfone. On the plus side, the calls I place are free and I can talk as long as I'd like. Downside is that it looks like the number that shows up on people's Caller ID varies and that the more I use it, it seems a bit glitchy.

    I've actually tried to sign up for Google Voice, but my carrier isn't recognized. My thinking is that since I don't want to be tied to a new mobile contract, I'd have to research and buy a prepaid/no contract/pay as you go from a supported carrier.

    However, my wife has Skype. She's only used the IM feature so far- she was a mod for a UK based Pokemon themed game site, and that's how the staff communicated. I realize quite a few of you here are happy Skype users.

    Since Microsoft acquired Skype, I was wondering if y'all have noticed any change in the quality of service/product. Any ideas of whether Skype will continue to be a stand alone app or do you feel it's destined to be soley an IE plug-in and only available to people who use IE?

    When you say "I've actually tried to sign up for Google Voice, but my carrier isn't recognized" - are you implying you want to use it on a mobile phone?

    If so, you may not be aware that GV on a phone is *not* a Voice Over IP ( VOIP ) app like Skype, with one exception I'll mention below. On a phone, calls in and out of GV are treated as phone calls, and thus you use up your minutes.

    On an Android phone, there are apps that integrate with GV so that it uses your data connection, and not cell minutes. I use GrooveIP for example. Also, GV on Android is deeply integrated into the OS, so you can configure it to send out your GV phone number to the recipient's caller ID instead of whatever random phone bank Google uses for each call.

    Personally, I absolutely love GV on Android. The ability to ring multiple phones, time-of-day based do-not-disturb, customized voicemail messages depending on who is calling me, etc. is awesome, especially since my phone is used for both personal and work calls.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I tried setting up GV using my Tracfone in an effort to avoid paying for an assigned Google Number.

    Though all of the other goodies are nice, I was hoping to just establish a free or very low cost alternative to a land line that I could use as a "home phone". Basically, I want GT, but with a permanent number that I can hand out to potential employers and other non-family entities, so they could call me on and the same number would show up on their CallerID displays.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  19. #19
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Update: Looks like my original understanding was either incorrect or they've changed it, but appears a Google Number is now free ($10 for either porting/changing). However, as my carrier wasn't supported when I attempted to sync my old Tracfone to the GV voicemail, I have an error pop-up that won't go away- can't back out of it and can't continue. And looks like I'd have to delete my entire Google Account to get around it, as GV can't be uninstalled by itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Update: Looks like my original understanding was either incorrect or they've changed it, but appears a Google Number is now free ($10 for either porting/changing). However, as my carrier wasn't supported when I attempted to sync my old Tracfone to the GV voicemail, I have an error pop-up that won't go away- can't back out of it and can't continue. And looks like I'd have to delete my entire Google Account to get around it, as GV can't be uninstalled by itself.
    What sort of error are you getting?

    I'm not sure how much utility you'd get by using GV on anything other than a smartphone. IIRC, back when I was using it before my smartphone, for an outgoing call you had to dial a special GV number first, then when you connected, you'd dial your target number. And of course you'd still be using up your mobile minutes, too. For a non-smartphone, it's perfectly fine for incoming calls, since you can just hand out your GV number to people and then configure it to forward to all of your phones.

    At least with the Android and IOS versions of GV, the apps take care of the connection to Google and the subsequent calling of the target phone number.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  21. #21
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    What sort of error are you getting?

    I'm not sure how much utility you'd get by using GV on anything other than a smartphone. IIRC, back when I was using it before my smartphone, for an outgoing call you had to dial a special GV number first, then when you connected, you'd dial your target number. And of course you'd still be using up your mobile minutes, too. For a non-smartphone, it's perfectly fine for incoming calls, since you can just hand out your GV number to people and then configure it to forward to all of your phones.

    At least with the Android and IOS versions of GV, the apps take care of the connection to Google and the subsequent calling of the target phone number.
    Which is what I wanted it for. On a roll of the dice, I just told the set up wizard that my carrier was AT&T, and it allowed me to finish. However, the voicemail is now associated with my old Tracfone (still got around here somewhere...), and no way to unsubscribe from GV voicemail without using that phone- I guess I'm going to have to buy some airtime for that one, so I can unsubscribe that number and then set up using my current one for VM purposes.

    Though it looks like I can get transcripts of VM, so maybe not have to use airtime to listen? If so, that's going to represent a savings right there. Also looks like I can initiate calls and texts from within the browser on my laptop without using airtime on my phone- which is going to help tremendously now that I'm unemployed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Which is what I wanted it for. On a roll of the dice, I just told the set up wizard that my carrier was AT&T, and it allowed me to finish. However, the voicemail is now associated with my old Tracfone (still got around here somewhere...), and no way to unsubscribe from GV voicemail without using that phone- I guess I'm going to have to buy some airtime for that one, so I can unsubscribe that number and then set up using my current one for VM purposes.

    Though it looks like I can get transcripts of VM, so maybe not have to use airtime to listen? If so, that's going to represent a savings right there. Also looks like I can initiate calls and texts from within the browser on my laptop without using airtime on my phone- which is going to help tremendously now that I'm unemployed.

    Correct, you can get transcripts of your voicemails. When you get one on your GV number, the transcript and a link to an audio copy of the VM will be emailed to you.

    The transcripts can be... hilarious. ;-) For some reason, it has a huge problem with southern accents. An example is a call I got from my boss recently; He said "I'm on top of a mountain right now". The transcript read "I'm topping my woman right now". ;-)

    And yes - the texts will be free if you handle them only on the website. You can also get them forwarded as SMS messages to your cell, but that would obviously require the additional cost of messaging plan on your phone.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  23. #23
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Hold on a sec... are you telling me that in addition to be able to send texts through GV for free, I could receive as well? So long as they are directed to the GV number and not the mobile?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  24. #24
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Hold on a sec... are you telling me that in addition to be able to send texts through GV for free, I could receive as well? So long as they are directed to the GV number and not the mobile?

    You can receive GV texts for free on a smartphone, since they use a data connection, not SMS. On a non-smartphone, you'd have to configure GV to forward them to your phone via SMS, which would incur whatever fees SMS normally costs on your phone.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  25. #25
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    A coworker uses google voice to convert vmails to emails, so he doesn't have to navigate verizon's touchtone maze to get his vmails. I would love to try that out. It did not seem easy to set up. Google voice is kind of a mystery to me.

    We had great results w/ skype when my wife spent 5 wks in Norway (I believe just before msft took over). Free skype to skype calls, and also used the computer as a (clunky) cell phone in Norway when sim cards were too much hassle to buy. We spent like a dollar on skype-to-Norway-phone calls.

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