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Skype without computers


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I'll preface my remarks by saying I know nothing about how Skype is administered so please don't hesitate to go into basics - I shan't feel belittled!

At present we have Alice at €34.95 pcm which includes their VOIP free-to-Europe phone calls.    The voice quality is not that good,   and given that we could get our monthly bill down to about €22 by changing to Orange Decouverte for ADSL only I doubt we use the VOIP facility to anywhere near a level where it's really value for money.

However,   we've lived with it because the MIL doesn't have a computer and so there is a long weekly chat back to Britain,  FOC.

What has recently changed is that we got (a few months back) a good deal for MIL's home in Britain for BT internet broadband,  for use not by her but by us when we're with her (only £4.99 per month) and I concomitantly spotted this system yesterday:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000OYN67Q/ref=s9_bbs_gw_d0_ir01?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1SYNHG6M7S88GV3133JJ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467128473&pf_rd_i=468294

which is an RTX Dualphone 3088 which appears to allow VOIP by plugging direct into a router.

So it would appear to someone who knows nothing about this that if we bought one of these for France (using a router on Orange Decouverte rather than Alice) and bought one for the MIL to plug into her BT router we'd be able to ring each other for nothing.

So how would this work?   Would it work at all?   Would one have to take out two subscriptions to Skype in order to be allocated phone numbers (even if the calls were free)?

In other words I've never really understood how Skype (or similiar) phones are identified by each other - the limited experience I've heard has involved people using them with computers via USB and - well I don't really know what they do - I've never seen it in action.

So any advice (general and specific) would be gratefully received.

Thanks!

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Hello Martin... I can't help but I know a man that can... so I'll give him a nudge.  We have skype phones, we had them in the UK when we had our business and we use them here in France and we get free calls.  Hubby is in the UK at the moment but I'll get him to come on and tell you what he did [:)]

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I have seen these too Martin, Use Skype almost everyday to keep in free contact with France via PC's These gadgets as I understand have a small computer dedicated (optimised) for VOIP built inside hence they do the trickery without another PC. So yes they should just plug into the router and Robert's your Mothers Brother.
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My darling Rose has given me a prod on this one, so I'll tell you what we do.

We have a Netgear Skype phone that to all intents and purposes is a normal hands-free phone. Extra handsets are available. It connects wirelessly to a small box which sits next to our router and the two are connected by a short length of ethernet cable. The phone is an IP device on our network but you don't need to know that !

The phone runs the Skype software so can be used just like using Skype on the PC i.e. you can call other Skype users for free. However, there is another possibility, which we use, which really seals the deal. You can buy a Skype package (I think we pay 48€ per year) that gives you unlimited calls to a number of countries (UK included and as usual excluding the dreaded 084x numbers) BUT also gives you a UK phone number. So, we can call UK for free and our friends and family can call us as if we were in UK. As many of them have call packages from BT and the like they are effectively calling us for free.

I also go back to work in UK and have a few clients there so I can give them the Skype number and they have no idea they are phoning France so that's another bonus.

The packages are on the Skype website and they're running a 15% discount at the moment. Oh and you can buy Skype credit for the few times you may need to call an 084x number in UK. The charges aren't generally a lot and I also use the SayNoto0870 website to find geographical numbers to avoid them.

Edit: just realised I've totally missed the point of Martin's question (responded to command from on high without reading the first post !) but I'll leave my reply as it may be of interest. BTW our Skype phone has to be logged in to the Skype newtork with our user name for the Skype bit to work.

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I saw the Netgear Skype phone but it's quite a bit more expensive,  and we'd need one at each end.    But it's probably very reliable as Netgear stuff is normally very good.    We've thought about that UK number system but to be honest it's more than we need,   as people can give us a very quick ring on our FT number and we could use Telerabis in extremis to ring them back,  or the basic Europe Skype.

I still don't understand whether a Skype phone you buy comes with a pre-ordained number or whether you have to apply for one.

And if I moved our "computerless" Skype phone to another location (ie from France back to Devon) does the number come with it,  or does it depend on one's ISP?

Thanks for the comments so far,   very useful.

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[quote user="greyman"]My darling Rose has given me a prod on this one [/quote]

ahh thanks sweetheart [kiss]

[quote user="greyman"] Edit: just realised I've totally missed the point of Martin's question (responded to command from on high without reading the first post !)

[/quote]

mmm... I see... blame me!  What happened to your darling Rose? [blink] [8-)]

[:D]

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Thanks for the further updates.    Light is slowly dawning now I see that one has a Skype account with a "sort of" address.

So if I set one up for myself and one for MIL is it the case that one doesn't "dial" a number as such,   one just looks through a list of contacts - choose one - and then press go?

In other words is it the case that there aren't any numbers for Skype phones?

Presumably if one moves one of these phones to another router it's the log in details that identify it?    I ask because it would be useful to be able to use our unit both in Devon and in France - presumably Skype don't care from where one calls on one's account?

Sorry to be so uninformed - if there's more on You tube then that's a great help - if someone can kindly point me in the right direction.

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Probably so it knows what currency to charge you in. you can start up with a small 0.99 test account I seem to remember from way back but you don't need to increase that unless you Skypeout to landlines or mobiles. ( a bit vague as it was a long time ago since I set up my account)
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