Skype

How can I make phone calls without a cellular plan?

Verizon JetPack

Episode 1441

Bernie from Washington State

Bernie wants to know about his data. He's worried that he's going over his data caps. Leo says that cell phone companies are moving towards Voice over LTE, which will use data to do phone calls because the quality is better. Can he get a data only device and do that? Leo says he can use apps like Tango and Skype to do that, but he's still paying for data. No cell company offers a mobile phone with just data only.

Why does my computer think I'm in China?

Episode 1369

Howard from Los Angeles, CA

Howard's Windows computer thinks he's in China when he uses Skype. Leo says to go into your Windows region settings and check the location setting. By default Skype will self populate the location for you. There could be a problem with his IP address. There's probably a batch of IP addresses that used to belong to an ISP in China and it's associating with it. Your ISP should be able to fix that if you request a new IP address. You can also just unplug your router and then plug it back in and it will get reassigned. Check out MaxMind.com. They provide IP Address Geo Location.

How can I have two phone numbers ring a single phone?

Episode 1338

Aaron from Fresno, CA

Aaron has to carry around two phones and wants to know if Google Voice will allow him to use two numbers for a single phone. Leo says he can, but there are also some phones that will allow him to use two SIMs. Google Fi is a good option. He can also use phone services like RingCentral and Grasshopper. Those are pay services, though. Skype could be a good alternative. Leo just keeps using Google Voice. It gives him a lot of options.

Why can't I get Skype to work on my Mac?

Episode 1308

Tony from Buffalo, NY

Tony is having issues with Skype and his Mac. Leo says that he can delete Skype, redownload, and reinstall it. That's how Chris Marquardt got it to work. Microsoft is making serious changes to it, though. The chatroom says that there's a Tech Note in Skype support that says to be sure the OS is up to date, along with Quicktime. Leo says to just delete it and redownload and install it. It's probably a localized issue.

Microsoft to Redesign Skype

Episode 1307

Microsoft has announced that they will be replacing the peer to peer voiceover IP scheme in Skype with a native server that will route the traffic in a more traditional way. And in doing so, they promise a “lighter, faster and more responsive UWP app for Windows 10, Skype for iPhone, iPad and Android." But it'll be a bumpy ride for Mac and Linux users, and even Windows phone users, until they do. Leo says that Skype has been improving in it's quality of late and it could be that Microsoft's tweaking of the code is a good thing.

What's a good VOIP solution?

Episode 1294

Lane from Huntington Beach, CA

Lane is looking for a good voice over IP (VOiP) phone option. Leo says that Ooma and 8x8 are good because they are rather invisible and he can use regular phones to make calls. To use his mobile phone with it, he'll need a SIP app (session initiation protocol), but they require a SIP provider. There's a company called Obihai which provides the SIP access. Ooma has built up enough of a network so that it's more affordable and a good choice.