Skype, and other similar VOIP Services enable you to make phone calls through your internet connection, and potentially save money.
It would appear that what was mostly just a gimmick when I first started using the interweb 20-odd years ago is on the verge of taking over from traditional copper landline phone services in the near future, with services such as BT Digital Voice that you can use instead of or as well as Skype.
The BT Digital Voice thing appears to run through your fibre broadband with your phone connecting to the BT Hub 2 Router.
Skype as always runs through free software on your PC, Smartphone or Tablet where you can use it like an instant messenger in addition to phone calls, as well as use it to make video calls through a webcam.
The BT Digital Voice service leaves you limited to just a conventional UK Phone number, the Skype service offers the chance to buy a “Skype Number” that enables you make and receive VOIP/SIP calls to your Skype app, as well as forward calls to another number.
You can get a Skype Number for a selection of UK locations, as well as ones for other countries such as the USA, Canada, and various European locations for making and receiving international Skype calls at local rates.
Also available is Google Voice, that also gives you the option of buying a US Phone number for making VOIP calls, but only if you live in the United States. So people outside the US can only make PC to PC calls.
Did I mention that VOIP = “Voice Over Internet Protocol”?
While SIP = Session Initiation Protocol