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Skype offers free calling to phones in U.S., Canada

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Skype, which offers software that allows people to talk over an Internet connection using their PCs, is trying to get more people in North America to use its SkypeOut service, which typically charges people to make calls to a traditional or mobile phone. Skype calls made between PCs are free.

Skype, owned by online auctioneer eBay, doesn't break out the number of people using its premium services such as SkypeOut. But as of the end of April, it claimed to have more than 100 million registered users, nearly double the number of registered users it had in September 2005. About 6 million of those consumers are in the U.S., said a company spokeswoman. By comparison, China has 13 million registered users and Germany has 5 million.

"Millions of consumers around the world are flocking to Skype every month," Henry Gomez, general manager for Skype in North America, said in a statement. "And we believe free SkypeOut calling will rapidly accelerate Skype adoption in the U.S. and Canada."

While Skype executives are hoping to drum up more business with this promotion, SkypeOut calling is free only until the end of 2006. What's more, calls made to and within all countries other than the U.S. and Canada will continue to incur charges at current rates.

The free SkypeOut promotion comes at a time when competitors such as Yahoo and AOL are integrating more call features into their instant-messaging clients. Starting Tuesday, AOL instant-messaging users will be able to use AIM Phoneline, a new service that allows people to make calls from their IM client to regular phones. AOL's service lets subscribers get free incoming calls from regular phones. But it charges a monthly fee to make calls to regular phones or cell phones.

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While the SkypeOut service will allow free calling to regular phones, the company will continue to charge people to get calls using a service it calls SkypeIn, which costs about $38 for an unlimited 12-month subscription. Consumers can get the service for three months for about $12.80.

Skype is also trying to attract new users by enhancing its services. Last week, it released a new test version of its software that adds more features and functionality to the service.

For example, it's adding a feature called Skypecasts, which are live, moderated discussions that allow groups of Skype users to discuss shared interests. The company also added SMS (Short Message Service), integration with Outlook e-mail contact lists, and shared contact lists.

I think this is gonna bring tons more users to Skype, as people see its free they will try it out and some will probably pay for SkypeIn.

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here is the main site


and the place i found out it was free which says >> Skype has announced that PC-To-Phone calls to US and Canada customers are now free at least through the end of 2006. Thanks Selma and M&M

You may have to download the latest version of Skype, and use the following format to call: "+1 555 555 5555". 


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sysadmins hate skype. it tunnels through all kinds of firewalls with encrypted traffic that is near impossible to block. the worry is that if skype sets up these tunnels and there is a compromise of skype, what can happen to the network?

what can happen to the network, alot can happen, a person at my office used skype and it messed our network all up because it would open ports, but it would never close them. and its so hard to block because it always uses a different port.

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the thing is peer to peer. so hard to track. it is also the one voip system incompatible to established standards. it's skype to skype only. no others. it encrypts its traffic, it hides itself in the traffic, it opens ports and has even been able to tunnel out of company firewalls. now imagine a hacked version of skype being able to exploit these perforated firewalls. not a pretty thing. that is why it is often forbidden by penalty of a public flaying from being used in a company.

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u r not a sys admin

if you blockn port 80 u render your network useless

most webpages use port 80

you would not be able to connect to them

your the man trust me i play cat and mouse before

there are always loopholes

find them and exploit them

thats my job

without getting my ass caught

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