Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Skype VS Truphone VS Vopium VOIP Review

Ok so which VOIP app for the iPhone is the best? I've been evaluating three of the apps that seem to be kicked around the most. Vopium, Skype and Truphone.

I've used Skype the longest as I have it installed on my home computer and use it to make video calls and talk to international friends.

I used Truphone a while ago and it didn't really seem to have the kinks worked out. I decided to give it another try and see how it compared.

A new contender to the Voice over IP game is Vopium.

Skype seems to have the best pricing as it has unlimited calls to United States landlines and mobiles for 2.95. Unlimited Country costs 5.95 where you can pick whichever country you call the most for unlimited calls. There is an unlimited world calling which costs $12.95 for calls to 30 countries.

Skype also offers a "Skype In" number which allows others to call you. The cost of this service is $18 for 3 months (or $6 dollars a month) with no per minute cost.

Truphone costs $17

Vopium does an interesting thing where it can use your existing phone capability (and cost) and then reroutes the expensive international part of the call over the internet.
So instead of paying your phone companies $4.95/min rate you can call out over your regular connection for the per minute rate then add on $0.03 for the international part. Vopium can skip around the standard call rate by starting out using wifi (like skype or truphone)

The initial trouble I had with both Truphone and Vopium is that they need to call you to set up the service on the phone. This is really difficult if you don't have reception and you want to make calls over wifi. So basically I spent at least an hour on both Vopium and Truphone trying to get them set up while Skype took 3minutes.

When it comes to call quality Truphone definitely sounded better and reacted better to button presses. Skype had a noticeable lag between when I said something and the other party heard it. The lag makes conversations difficult. Most of the time Skype works great. It is a great service when used on a computer as the calls seem to be crisp and quick. Also button presses register when using the computer version of Skype.

I would generally rate Skype above Truphone because it has the ability to make and receive great calls on a PC (or mac or linux). Also skype is less expensive and more widely used allowing more free calls to be made.

However the Truphone app for iPhone seems to have better call quality and isn't frustrating to use when entering numbers on the keypad.

My test was calling in to my voicemail account where I'd have to key in a security code or even my 10 digit phone number. After 6 times of typing in the wrong code it would just disconnect me while using Skype. Truphone sent the correct key presses and all was well. However there was some strange echo distortion when listening to my messages. I didn't hear any of that while talking to a live person though.

I haven't been able to get Vopium registered on my phone yet... Also it doesn't seem to offer a nice inexpensive unlimited plan for my uses.

I may keep Truphone installed as a backup but Skype seems to win me over in the cost/performance arena.

3 comments:

AlexanderStraub said...

Please outline the content of the $17 offer. I rate truphone as best in class service provider.

Chris Taylor said...

Truphone offers unlimited calling to 38 countries (landlines) and cell phones for 9 countries (including US, Canada and China)

Skype offers unlimited calling to 40 countries and cells for 6 (you miss out on Guam, the Marianas Isles and Macau)

I will agree that Truphone had better call quality and button press regonition than skype. It was still more expensive and doesn't have the ability to have a personal number.

Skype discounts the cost of a personal number (skype in) by 50%

Jenna McLucas said...

Thanks Chris! I really appreciate your time in checking all this out so that I don't have to. Take care and happy travels to you!