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Setting up a US # through Skype

Hi all. I diligently copied all the info posted here about a month or two ago regarding easy ways for relatives and friends to call me once I'm abroad. However, now I can't find my file and I desperately need to figure this out before I leave for Paris in 10 days. My mother calls every day asking if I've set it up yet!

So, with apologies for making you repeat the info, but can someone give me the rundown on setting up a US phone number through Skype or some of the other services if there's a better way to do this? Do I have to have my internet set up on the other end already or can I deal with this here before I go? TIA!

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Re: Setting up a US # through Skype

  • Just go to skype.com and set up an account. Get a monthly subscription first, then sign up for a phone number. You then choose which country and area code phone number you want. That's it, it really shows itself. (set up the subscription first though, because that gives you a discount on the skype-in number.

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  • Yeah - what PP said. It's really easy to do and you can do it before or after you leave the country. It won't matter what ISP address you are using. You'll just need your user name and password to log in wherever you are. Just go to the Skype website and you will find directions there.

    Payment is usually done through Paypal and you get a better discount if you pay for a year at a time. It's pretty cheap.

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  • You want what's called an "Online Number":
    http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/features/allfeatures/online-number/ 
    You can either buy a subscription for outgoing calls and then sign up for the online number (which gives you a discount on the online number), or you can just sign up for an online number. 

    I don't bother with the subscription, because the online number includes unlimited incoming calls. To call the US, the per-minute calling rates are so cheap (it's something like 6? to connect and then 2.3? per minute) that I usually just call my mom and ask her to call me back. It's a local call for her, and my incoming call is covered by the online number, so it costs just 8? to call and tell her that I'm home and free to talk. Then we can talk as long as we want.

    Whenever the credit on my Skype account gets low, I just top it up through the website, and a $10 or $20 credit will last me months. (Even when I was talking to a friend and didn't want to interrupt to tell her to call me back, we talked for over an hour and a half on the per-minute rate, and it cost something like $2, so I would definitely be losing money on a subscription, even with the 50% discount on my online number.)

    Also, calls to toll-free 1-800 numbers are free, so I can call my US banks or airlines or whatever through Skype without needing to pay anything.

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  • Oh, one reason I might consider a subscription is if I want Skype to re-route my incoming calls to my local mobile phone. Then someone in the US could call my Indiana phone number, and my Norwegian mobile would ring and take the call. If you do that, you pay for the online number ($60/yr) and then each time a call comes through, you get charged the outgoing call rate for wherever the call is being sent (a Norwegian mobile in my case). Unfortunately, the rates for Norwegian mobile phones are extremely high (over 20? per min even with a basic subscription), so this has never really been a worthwhile option for me. But in other places, where the rates are cheaper, it might be something to look into.
    image
  • Okay, last addition!

    If you're getting an online number I highly recommend buying a Skype phone that you can plug into your router. That way you don't have to leave a computer on all the time to answer your incoming Skype calls. When someone calls your US phone number, your Skype phone just rings like a normal phone. And it will even ring if someone wants to make a free Skype-to-Skype call to your account! It's so handy, because you don't have to deal with the computer at all.

    http://shop.skype.com/phones/#cordless-router 

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  • Oh and an addition from me. Do indeed get the skype phone, but don't get the Belkin wireless, battery life is crappy and reception is really bad. We have 2 wireless routers that send out SUPER strong signals and the Belkin only works when I'm standing right next to the router.

    Oh and regarding the subscription, just look around at what deals they have at that moment. Last year I happened to be able to get a really good deal, 25 dollars for year round unlimited calling to anywhere in the US, bought that, then 2 minutes later bought my online number and got half off on that, which meant I paid the same for unlimited outgoing calls+ an online number as I would've paid for just the number.

    Just really try to look around the site a bit, the good deals are usually hidden under the 'pay for a year, but together with...' links.  

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  • Thanks, everyone. My brain is a muddled mess right now of everything I have only 9 days to do before international move day. I think I might have DH read all your comments with me before I sign up for anything on the Skype site! But, last question- do the people calling me have to have a skype account, or can they just use their regular phone? If they want to call through the computer (and use a video camera), they need skype, right?

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  • skype to skype you can use video, phone to skype or skype to phone you don't have video, but it really is just a phone number they can call from any phone in the world. 

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    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers < br />

    What I'm looking forward to in 2012:

    eating our way through (northern) Italy on vacation.

    Eating our way through (northern) Italy on vacation

    <a href="http://www.thenest.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Home D
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