Can You Use Skype as Your Home Phone?

How to make calls with Skype instead of your landline

Can Skype replace your residential landline phone service? Not completely. You still need a landline or mobile phone to access 911 emergency services, which are not available on VoIP platforms. But if you want to reduce your monthly phone bill, consider using Skype for your calls instead of your landline.

Instructions in this article apply to Skype on Android OS 4.0.4 or higher or iOS 10 or higher.

What You Need to Make Skype Calls

First, make sure you have a good internet connection. A Wi-Fi hotspot at home is ideal. These days, most internet service providers include one with your plan. Then, you need a mobile phone capable of connecting to the Wi-Fi hotspot and running Skype.

How to Make Skype Calls

Once you have your equipment set up, follow the steps below to start making phone calls using Skype.

  1. Install the Skype app on your mobile device.

  2. Register for a monthly Skype subscription. You need one if you want to make unlimited calls to landlines and mobile phones. If you live in the U.S., a subscription costs $2.99/month.

    Although it says it's unlimited, the U.S. plan charges an additional $0.15/minute if you use 2,000 minutes per month. Alternatively, if you don't need a lot of minutes, you can buy Skype credit instead of a subscription. This also lets you make calls around the world at various rates, and you pay as you go.

  3. Find the person you want to call from your Contacts list. 

    If you synced your phone's contact list with your Skype contact list, you can make Skype calls by selecting the Skype button next to the person you want to call.

  4. Select the contact you want to call, and then choose the Audio Call button.

    If you want to make a group call, simply add another contact. 

  5. At the end of a call, select the End Call button to hang up. 

    Screenshots of the Skype app on a phone with the Call and End Call buttons highlighted

If you want to receive calls through Skype, you need an online phone number. A Skype number is attached to your account and it lets you answer incoming calls via the app. You can choose the country and area code for your new number.

Consider keeping your landline. Since Skype doesn't allow emergency calls, you still need it if you need to dial 9-1-1.