Tuesday, January 5, 2010
How I saved $1200 a year by getting rid of my landline and moving to Skype
Late 2008 to the early part of 2009 I spent 6 months in Baghdad, Iraq. What made time fly was the ability to communicate with my family and friends via Skype. I signed up for Skype's Unlimited U.S and Canada plan and got a local number U.S number that allowed people to call me and leave messages. The commercial internet in Iraq is not even close to what we have in the United States, but Skype worked very well. That got me to thinking why am I paying AT&T $100 dollars a month at home when I could have Skype for about $60-70 dollars per year?
So when I returned from Iraq I put my thoughts into action. I didn't want to be tied to a headset like I was in Iraq so I started to look for a Skype phone. The first one I bought was the Belkin Wifi Phone, but after getting it setup the sound quality was very poor and the volume was extremely low at the max level. So I returned it the next day. After returning the phone I went to Walmart looking for something else and came across the GE 2 in 1 Skype phone.
The GE 2 in 1 phone allows you to connect one to your computer and the other connects to the main base unit. Giving you the freedom of placing another phone anywhere without being connected to the computer. The set up was simple and took about 10-15 minutes. The call quality is very good and you have access to all your Skype contacts from the phone.
If you're not ready to make the leap from land line to Voip the GE 2 in 1 can be used for both Voip and land line calls. That way you have the option of keeping your land line and go with the very basic service (AT&T local only with no extras is around $15/m) and use Skype for all your long distance calling. Which would still be a huge savings per year.
Your computer needs to be on to use Skype, but in the Skype settings you can setup call forwarding. That way if your computer is not on it will forward calls to your cell phone, and forward calls if you don't answer in a certain number of seconds. Another added bonus is Skype can be used on your Windows mobile or Iphone.
The last thing I love is the ability to block annoying phone calls. If by chance a telemarketer gets your new number, simply block the caller and you will never hear from them again. Something traditional land lines don't do well in my experience. So if you have been looking for another way to make your cash go further give Skype a try.