Why All the Hype About Skype? - The User Experience
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Skype, and indeed VoIP itself, may not be for every kind of broadband user. Those who have cable- or fiber-based broadband will appreciate the cost savings. Those who have DSL, though, already have a phone line. It would hardly be worth it for a DSL user, then, unless he or she also makes a lot of long distance phone calls.
Questions of quality also raise concerns, and have ever since the first experiments with VoIP decades ago. They stem from the nature of the technology. Just like the data that travels over the Internet, voice signals are broken into packets, transmitted, and reassembled at their destination. While it has improved, the technology still seems to deliver mixed results.
One user, for instance, reported that the quality of the voice was even better than that of a standard phone call, with delay and latency practically non-existent. It was important to have a good headset and mike, though, because if the party at the other end has the speakers turned way up, you might hear an echo.
It's also worth noting that some Windows users have observed that Skype is a resource hog, so while you can use other applications while running Skype, you might want to avoid anything that is resource intensive. There have also been reports of SkypeOut users not being able to some numbers, especially some mobile phone numbers. Quality during the same phone call has been known to vary as well.
Overall, Skype seems to have received a majority of positive reviews from its users. There still seems to be some significant room from improvement, however.
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