Staying in touch

Skype online number

Staying in touch while travelling is a lot easier than it used to be. Using skype, facetime, whatsapp and others all make a person to person call free within the app.

What if you need to have a home country based number that connects to you anywhere in the world? I am using the Skype online phone number service to fill that gap.

You pay Microsoft for a home country based number, you get to choose the country, city and have some input on the digits that are used. If you sign for a year, this will set you back £30. There are several advantages here, and all you need is access to a data connection be that wifi, or a local sim with data (more on that later).

  • People without skype can call you on your chosen landline number and connect direct to your mobile/tablet or even laptop (via the app/site). This carries no additional cost other than the initial outlay and whatever you are being charged for your data (frequently free with wifi hotspots).
  • People you call without Skype get that number as a caller ID (make sure you check the option when ordering). Be aware that non-skype calls come at additional cost, it is very reasonable but see the section on cloud storage as you can get “free” minutes with one drive as part of the subscription.
  • Companies you have to provide a telephone number to can call you, not many will use Skype as a voice contact option at the moment, and changing your contact details regularly (if you take the local SIM option) is a pain.
  • People can leave you voicemail and you can collect it without your home mobile provider gouging your eyes out on the bill. Avoidable with a local SIM, but again that means communicating the number out to all your contacts every time you change it. There is also the potential hazard of missing voice messages when you swap SIM’s.

You can sign up for a Skype number here

More mature. Apparently.

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