How to Call Landlines and Other Phones From Skype

These are your options for taking and placing calls through Skype

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Skype is 100% free for calling other Skype users, but what if you don't want to stick to internet calls and instead call someone who isn't on Skype? Maybe they use a cell phone or a landline without a Skype account.

Skype lets you make phone calls to just about anyone with a PSTN phone or mobile device. To use Skype to call regular phones, you have to pay as you go by purchasing credits, subscribe to Skype for unlimited calls, or buy a Skype phone number.

Note: Using Skype to call non-Skype phones used to be called SkypeOut.

How It Works

If you want to make outgoing calls with Skype, you need to purchase calling credit (counted in minutes), similar to calling cards. This lets you call anyone, whether that person has a Skype account or not.

Just dial the phone number of the person you want to call and speak normally—you can do this using Skype on your computer or with the mobile Skype app on your tablet or phone. The other person won't know that you're calling from anything other than a typical phone.

Technically, Skype channels all calls through gateways, which direct the calls to the PSTN or cell phone services. What you pay for is the renting fee of the gateways.

How Much Does It Cost?

What you spend on calling with Skype depends on how you buy Skype, but also on the callings rates for the places you're wanting to call.

Skype Subscriptions

There are three Skype subscriptions you can buy, and each of them can be had for a single month, three months, or 12 months at a time. The only difference with each of them is the list of supported countries. Visit that link to see which countries, specifically, are supported with each plan.

You can buy the North American Subscription to call mobile phones and landlines with Skype. With it are several destinations—like Guam, US, Puerto Rico, Canada, and others—you can make calls to. You get unlimited minutes.

Though more expensive, you could opt for the World Subscription which has many more calling destinations than the North American one. It's also unlimited.

The third and final, and also least expensive Skype subscription, is the United States Subscription where you can call US, Puerto Rico, and Guam phone numbers for just a few dollars a month. Again, this comes with unlimited minutes but also supports less countries.

Note: If you don't live in the United States, pick a different country from the subscriptions page for different prices and supported countries. The examples given above are for Skype users in the US.

Skype Credits

Another option for calling regular phones with Skype is to purchase Skype credits. You can use credits to call phones all around the world. It's a great option if you don't use Skype very often and just want to make a handful of calls every now and then.

Skype credits are useful because they let you pay as you go so that you only spend what you need. What you'll end up spending on credits depends on the rates of the countries you're calling.

Skype Phone Number

A Skype number is like a regular phone number where anyone can call you (but you can't call them). When someone makes a call to your Skype number, it'll ring in the Skype app, whether you're on your computer or a mobile device.

You can get a Skype phone number in a couple dozen different countries. It's useful if you plan to travel for a while and want to be reachable. You get unlimited incoming phone calls as part of the price.

You can pay for a Skype phone number on a monthly basis. To get it for the lowest price, consider buying all 12 months at once—it's more than likely over 25% cheaper than paying monthly. There's also a 3-month option. All three billing period options can be purchased with Skype credits if you have them.

Skype To Go

Your last option for calling with Skype is to use Skype To Go. It doesn't require an internet connection and you don't even need the Skype app. It's best used if you need to call internationally and want to pay local rates.

Here's how it works: tell Skype what number you want to call. They'll give you a local number to call, which you can call from any phone—your landline, cell phone, a pay phone, etc. From there, call the number you're wanting to reach and you'll pay local rates for the call.

Unlike a Skype phone number, Skype To Go lets you make outgoing calls. If making calls is important for you, you should avoid getting a Skype phone number and instead either subscribe to Skype, use credits, or get Skype To Go.

Emergency Calls

According to Skype, "Skype does not support any type of emergency calling." However, there are some exceptions.

It's important to know that emergency calls are only enabled in a few countries, and the US is not included in that list. So, dialing 911 will not work in Skype.