Long Distance Communication

Long distance communication is nothing like it was when I was a kid.  I remember when it would cost $1.60/min to call Hawaii from Canada… and more than double that to places like China and parts of Europe.  Now it’s just a few pennies… or less.  Recently I was asked by someone about the best and CHEAPEST way to communicate long distance using new technology.  It only took a moment of thought before I had my answer, the cheapest and easiest way to connect with loved ones is via Skype .  It works with a netbook or a laptop or a desktop… whatever kind of computer you have… as long as you have an internet connection.  It’s free as long as you are talking computer to computer and has extremely low low rates if you call from skype to a landline or mobile.  The quality is also far better than I expected.  I used it all the time when I was in Paris for two weeks, calling friends locally in Paris and long distance home to family and friends.  I just used my small notebook that has a webcam but I usually just made voice calls. 
As I prepare for my round the world journey I’m thinking I’d like to also have something portable to take with me.  The problem is the extremely outrageous roaming charges.  I could get a mobile and just change the sim cards every time I visit a new country, but instead I chose the Mobal phone.  It’s pay as you go, with no roaming charges.  It would cost between about $1.50-$6.00 per call (just like landline rates in the ‘olden days’) but I don’t plan to use it regularly, more as a safety phone. I’ll let you know how it works out.   They also have a great program that will pay me commission for anyone who buys a phone by clicking through from my site.

I also got myself an iPod Touch… it’s awesome, like an iPhone but without the phone (and the roaming charges). But I even managed a way around that too, by loading it with a Skype app.  Now I can use it as a phone wherever I have wi-fi, plus I have access to all the iPhone apps.  I have loaded up everything from TripIt to Book-it .com to Trip Advisor, Travel Health, Airports, PD Maps, a currency converter, wi-fi finder plus Facebook, Twitter, Gmail.  I think i’m going to use it a lot.

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