September 5, 2008

One of the killer apps of the Web is Internet phone calling, also known as VoIP, or Voice over IP. As Internet data pipes get larger, they’re able to handle more data, including live video and audio exchanges, and Skype is one of the most popular and best VoIP clients out there. Skype serves as an instant message program that also enables you to make free voice and video calls to other Skype members.

For a fraction of standard phone rates, Skype will also let you call regular landlines phones and cell phones and give you a phone number that others can call and reach you. In other words, you could conceivably ditch your land line and save $50 or more each month on your phone bill. Skype, of course, offers a full range of features when you pay, including voice mail and text messaging, and the app runs on both Macs and PCs, as well as on Skype-dedicated phones (not to mention dual-mode phones that run both Skype and a landline and let you switch easily between the two). You can even install Skype on your Wi-Fi or 3G-enabled cell phone and place Skype calls direct from your handset.

Of course, given Skype’s popularity, there is a good chance you could go on making Skype calls to everyone you know with out ever having to spend a dime.

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