Now, in addition to concerns like whether to set up a SkypeIn number or springing for an Unlimited World calling plan, Skype users must also consider who and how many people they want to engage in video calls.
But, before you dive in to a Skype Premium subscription at $8.99 a month, read on to compare services with our handy guide below.
Would Skype Premium Benefit You?
Prior to even thinking about getting a subscription to Skype's newest features, ask yourself the following questions to measure their value to you and your needs:
1. Who are you calling on Skype?
If your answer is other Skype users on their computers or using a mobile device, skip to question two.
However, if you are also interested in calling persons living in the US and Canada or internationally, consider sticking with Skype Free and adding a paid Skype subscription. You can save yourself $6 a month going this route, so long as you don't need or want certain video calling features.
2. Who do you want to video call on Skype?
If standard, one-on-one video calling is all you need, stick with a free account. But, if you are interested in using Skype for group video calls with all your webcam-connected friends, you will need a Skype Premium subscription. Group webcam chat is only supported with this plan and allows users to host up to nine friends on a call at once.
3. Are you interested in discounts on Skype services?
With a Skype Free plan, users can access discounts on a SkypeIn phone number so friends and family can call you while you are signed in on your computer or mobile device. But, if you need a new webcam, Skype Premium is the way to go. This plan features savings on new, Skype-supported HD webcams and other accessories, including SkypeIn numbers and more.
4. How important is live customer support?
As a longtime Skype user, I have never had to wait too long for help on my account using the free account's forums and email support. But, with Skype Premium, users can receive 24/7 telephone support for their Skype accounts, a value-added for their paying clients.
If you feel pretty proficient at Skype and don't need discounts or group video calls, a free account is probably your best bet.
Compare Skype Premium and Free Features
Still unsure? Take a look at this Skype Premium and Skype Free services comparison chart for a complete look at what you are getting with each subscription.
|Skype Free||Skype Premium|
|One-on-One Webcam Chat||✔||✔|
|Group Webcam Chat||✔|
|Send, Receive IMs||✔||✔|
|SkypeIn Number Discounts||✔||✔|
|Live Customer Support||✔|
*Unlimited US and Canadian calling with 3 and 12 month subscriptions.