Skype Premium Review

by in Reviews

The other day, Missy and I had a conference called scheduled with another business associate. I said we should do a video call and that I would initiate it since I have a Skype Premium membership (which is required for a group video call).

Missy: “You are the only person I’ve ever heard of who PAYS for Skype.”

I get that a lot. When I blogged about my favorite tools that help me organize my business earlier this year, I got teased by more than a few people for my paid usage of Skype.

I honestly think Skype does a lackluster job of promoting their premium service and the benefits it has over traditional (free) Skype. and since I’m apparently one of the only people on earth who uses it (haha) I figured I’d explain the benefits and why I personally (gasp) pay for Skype. ;-)

skype premium

What comes with the free version of Skype

Skype’s free version will probably serve the needs of most of people that use it. The free version allows you to:

  • Make one on one video calls
  • Have an audio conference call with up to 25 participants
  • Instant messaging between Skype users (both one on one and with multiple participants
  • File sharing capabilities

Additional features available with Skype Premium

The Premium version comes with several upgrades I’ve come to rely on as a home based business owner that also employs several virtual employees and contractors:

  • Group video calling with up to ten participants (however, my personal experience is that any more than 6 people on the call will make things choppy unless you have a stellar Internet connection). Additionally, only one person in the group video call needs to be a Skype Premium member for this function to come into play.
  • Group screen sharing with up to ten people (however, as with group video calls, I start to have problems with choppiness after I’ve shared my screen with about six people).
  • No partner advertising (not that I was super bothered by the ads before, but still, nice to have them removed when you upgrade).
  • Access to live chat support (I’ve only ever needed to use this once, and it takes some sleuthing to even FIND it on the site. However, after about a five minute hold, I had my issue cleared up).

What does Skype Premium Cost?

The cost of Skype Premium is $9.99 USD per month, but if you pay by the year, you get it at a discounted rate for only $4.99 USD per month (for a total of $59.88 per year).

What you DON’T get with Skype Premium

Unless I haven’t realized it, you don’t get a “better connection” with Skype Premium than you do using the free version. So you’ll still have the occasional dropped call and occasional terrible connection the same as you do with the free version.

Additionally, Skype Premium should not be confused with Skype for Business, which is a completely different set of service plans (and I’m told, more expensive, though I don’t know for sure because last I checked you had to contact them to get a custom price quote for Skype for Business).

How I use Skype Premium

  • To group video call employees and keep everyone in my company feeling connected even though they are quite distanced by geography.
  • To group screen share while training my staff or doing company presentations.
  • To group video chat with clients, associates and friends.

Why I happily pay for Skype Premium

There are other services out there that offer multiuser video chat and screen sharing (Oovoo immediately comes to mind, though I’ve yet to try it – but stay tuned for a future review on that, because I will need to once I need to video chat or screen share with 8 or more people) but they’re a bit pricier to get more than 4-6 users at a time (usually because they have some pretty cool – but unneeded by me at this exact moment – additional features), and I’ve found Skype Premium to be enough for my current needs (which is usually 6-7 people at the most).

So hopefully this gives people a better idea of why I pay for Skype. At the very least, the next time they make fun of me, I can point them to this post. :)

About the Author - Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is the CEO of PushFire, an online marketing agency specializing in SEO audit services and link building strategies. A veteran affiliate marketer, she is also the author of the often controversial Sugarrae affiliate marketing blog.

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Loretta April 16, 2012 at 8:08 am

Interesting extra features. I pay for Skype also, but I only have the $2.99 unlimited calling thing so I can use it when I dial into conference lines and teleclasses when necessary. I didn’t realize there were so many benefits with the Premium subscription, definitely some handy stuff.

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Tim July 9, 2012 at 1:11 am

About a year ago, I branched out into online English lessons for my (physical) school. It has all been one-on-one classes until recently, so I was using free Skype. Now I am getting into online group classes, and I have been using my physical students as guinea pigs to see how group classes work, using the free trials of different services. Skype premium is working well for groups of 5 (4 students and one teacher). It’s simple and straightforward.

It’s also a lot easier to get people on board with Skype, because almost everyone is familiar with the brand.

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