Skype as a home phone service

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After getting hit with a $300 phone bill, my wife and I switched to Skype for our home phone service ($5/month).

Thanks to push and multitasking on the iPhone, we now use Skype on 3G/4G as our cell phone service too.

I'll explain how we did this below in three easy steps.

You can set it all up online in just a few minutes.

We researched prices on unlimited home phone service over the net to find:

Skype $5/month
Vonage $24.99/month
Qwest $40.99/month
Comcast $39.95/month
In addition to being cheapest, you can get Skype to work with old landline phones and iPhones/iPods/iPads.

Three steps: Instant home phone line

Skype could do a better job of organizing its site to explain how to use it for home phone service. Here are the relevant pages:

  1. Click here to download Skype.
  2. Click here to subscribe to unlimited calling.

    Without a monthly plan, you can use the SkypeOut service to call other phones, where you pay about two to three cents per minute. We opted for the Skype unlimited plan for about $3/month. You get a discount if you pay for a year in advance.

  3. Click here to get a phone number for inbound calls .

    We even got a phone number for our area code. Skype lets you pick your phone number, so I opted for one ending in 007.

If you install the iPhone Skype app, calls to your Skype number will ring through to your iPhone while you're on 3G/4G. (Your computer will also ring.)

While you're on Skype, you won't lose any of your cellphone minutes.

Optional add-ons

We also use Skype voicemail, a couple Skype phones and a webcam.

  1. Click here to set up Skype voicemail.

    Skype voicemail lets you browse your voicemail from any internet-connected device.

  2. Skype phones and converting landline phones.

    My Grandma has to be able to use our home phone. So, we bought a standalone Skype phone on amazon for her.

    We use also old iPhones and iPods as wi-fi Skype phones.

    If you have an old telephone that you'd like to plug into Skype, you can use the Eforcity USB Phone Adapter:

  3. Get a webcam for Skype video calling.

    My parents use a Logitech HD Webcam C310 so that they can "play" with their grandkids on Skype: