Fri, 16 Sep 2005
Skype considered harmful
Root.CZ has an interesting article titled "Ten reasons to not use Skype" (in Czech, sorry). Many arguments seem to be valid - when you have a real Internet connection (i.e. with a public IP address), you are in fact sponsoring Skype with your bandwidth. However, I wonder what better solution we can use?
I tried GnomeMeeting, and it works for calling from home to work. However, it is based on a central registry of users, and I don't want to broadcast my presence to an untrusted site. Maybe it can be switched to a private registry as well, I have not explored the features of GnomeMeeting further. And, it seems that GnomeMeeting has only rudimental support for SIP (it is primarily an H.323 based system). Also, I don't know whether GnomeMeeting can use a strong encryption to make the calls truly private.
I have a real Internet connection at home, so I am thinking about setting up an Asterisk-based PBX for me and my friends. However, time is the constraint here :-(
Also, there is an important drawback of PC-based software phones: the "headphones" problem - when you leave your headphones plugged in, you cannot hear the soft phone ringing, because the speakers are muted then. I have to do some more experiments with virtual ALSA devices, and create a separate virtual device from rear channel outlet of my sound card, which would be permanently connected to a "ring-only" speaker. Or maybe I should buy an USB-connected phone and use it as a voice/phone device.
What VoIP solution would you suggest?