Can I Use Skype to Replace My Landline?

Written by robert schrader
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Skype is a powerful desktop software program that affords you the ability not only to make voice and video calls to other computers and mobile smart phone devices, but also to cellular and landline phones, provided that you have Skype credit. Skype shares many capabilities with traditional landline phone services, but some differences exist that may make replacing your landline with Skype disadvantageous or even problematic.

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Skype's Capabilities

In addition to calling other Skype users via chat, voice or video -- and with the freedom for either or both users to use either a computer or a compatible mobile device -- Skype offers users affordable domestic and international phone calls. Additionally, you can purchase a Skype phone number and Skype voice mail, enabling people to call you and, if you're not at your computer or mobile device when the call comes in, leave a message for you. As is the case with your landline, you can use Skype both to make and receive calls.

Requirements for Skype

Skype shares many capabilities with landlines, but has some requirements that go beyond plugging a phone into a wall. For one, you must be connected to the Internet to use Skype, so if your connection goes out and you don't have an alternate phone, you'll be unable to call unless you locate a public Internet connection. Additionally, not all mobile devices accommodate Skype, so if your computer breaks down and you don't have a smart phone such as an iPhone or Android, you won't be able to make or receive calls.

Emergency Calls

Skype is neither intended for nor capable of making emergency calls, according to its official website. For this reason alone, the prospect of replacing your landline outright becomes less attractive. If you have an emergency at your home and have only Skype at your disposal, you'll need to visit a neighbour's home in order to call the authorities, which may or may not be possible or convenient, depending on the nature of the emergency.

Alternatives

Replacing your landline with Skype presents several problems, but that doesn't mean you absolutely have to have a landline phone. For example, having both a mobile phone and Skype adequately covers you from both a technological standpoint, as well as in the event of emergencies. Moreover, if you do use a mobile smart phone with a cellular data plan, you can access Skype without an auxiliary Internet connection through your carrier's network.

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