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Decent Alternatives to Skype

Discussion in 'Software' started by Alex Wright, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    Hi,

    My IT department is finding that Skype is inherently impossible to secure from a network administration perspective. In particular the file sharing feature cannot be switched off nor blocked, leaving a method of data transmission that cannot be controlled.

    Before we can turn this off, however, we need to be able to replace the obvious business benefits of Skype usage with equivalent services.

    In particular, the services that require alternative solutions are:

    1. Cheap (Internet?) voice calls.
    2. Ability to send SMS text messages to UK (and other ideally) mobile numbers (this is very important).
    3. Instant messaging does have some value that should be included.

    Can you recommend any alternatives to Skype that possess the 3 key points listed above?

    Thanks in advance,

    - Alex
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
    WIP: 70-642
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Asterisk

    You'll need to do a lot of groundwork to set it up, and there's a pretty steep learning curve, but there's nothing that Asterisk can't do - and its free.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  3. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks Zeb, I'll look into this.

    Any other suggestions anyone?

    Thanks!
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
    WIP: 70-642
  4. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Asterisk by itself won't give you all that might be required for the first point.

    What proportion of your calls at the moment stay on the 'internet' as against those breaking out into the PSTN world (SkypeIn and SkypeOut)?

    You will probably need a SIP provider for that. I use Sipgate, which gives me a free phone number and cheap geo calls. But I suspect that a business would have to pay.

    So you need to also analyze your current PSTN usage and match it against tariffs available from different providers.

    You also need to determine how many numbers you need.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  5. delorean

    delorean Megabyte Poster

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    I was recommended one the other day that was a German owned/made product just like Skype except calls to/from Europe to around the world were free, even land/cell lines.

    This came recommended to me by someone with a shrewd eye for a bargain so I'm pretty sure it would be worth our while hunting it down. I forget the name of it now but would be keen to track it down again.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP 70-270, 70-290, 70-291
    WIP: 70-680, S+, MCSA, MCSE, CCNA
  6. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    Does Asterisk support the SkypePro service?

    I use it for all of my outbound LD business calls. It probably saves me about $150/mth in fees.
     
    Certifications: Lots.
    WIP: Upgrading MS certs
  7. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    I've only recently joined the company so I'm unsure of lthe proportion of calls that break out into the PSTN world. I'll find out and report back.

    Cheers Harry.
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
    WIP: 70-642
  8. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

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    That sounds perfect. Does anybody know the name of the product that delorean is talking about?
     
    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
    WIP: 70-642
  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Most SIP providers allow free calls as long as they stay 'on system'. Some have agreements with other providers to allow free calls to people on those providers.

    However - immediately a call goes into the PSTN world then there are costs to be paid for - you won't get those for free.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+

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