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Summary:

It’s no secret that we’ve enjoyed using Skype for audio and video calls for the past several years on our various mobile devices. Aside from free Skype-to-Skype calls and paid SkypeOut services, the company also offers unlimited monthly subscription plans as low as $2.95 a month, […]

smfs

It’s no secret that we’ve enjoyed using Skype for audio and video calls for the past several years on our various mobile devices. Aside from free Skype-to-Skype calls and paid SkypeOut services, the company also offers unlimited monthly subscription plans as low as $2.95 a month, although they’re subject to a Fair-Use Policy. That restricts the total number of calls, minutes used, etc… So how do you keep track of your usage against the Fair-Use terms? That’s where the free Subscription Monitor for Skype comes into play, which I found through Voice on the Web. This Windows application summarizes your Skype subscription usage in real time.

The compelling factor to me is how this works even if you use multiple clients with Skype, as I often do. Call history is normally localized to your machine, so if you Skype with more than one device, you’d have to manually aggregate your call data; But not with this freeware. Of course, this requires you to configure the app with your Skype credentials, so be wary. Another nice touch? The icons change in color from green to yellow to red, giving you a visual indicator of where you stand against the limitations at a given point in time during the month.

  1. I am the author of this and wish to make others aware that this type of call data is not available without Skype name and password, so there is no choice but to request this infomation in order to provide these subscription totals.

    As you can see, I do have a check box called Save, that when unchecked will not store Skype name and password which will require a logon each time the SMFS – (“Subscription Monitor For Skype”) is started and used when the “Save” check box is unchecked, othewise when SMFS – (“Subscription Monitor For Skype”) is started it will gather these totals automatically, at startup.

    It should be noted that the password is encrypted with secure encryption methods when the data is saved as well, and the data is only used between the local system getting the subscription information and the Skype server. This can be easily verified by many tools such as process explorer.

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    1. Thanks for the clarification! :) I didn’t mean to insinuate any impropriety by my statement on the Skype credentials. Readers typically ask about the security of such things and without any detailed info on how your application handles it, I was simply offering my standard warning. Thanks again!

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  2. You are very welcome. I felt I owed it to your readers, so they will know why this information is needed and that this information could not be gathered without it.

    Which is good really, otherwise we would all know who was calling whom :P

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  3. Ah, yes, another one of those “unlimited” services.

    I am surprised that the various wireless carriers aren’t calling their regular phone plans unlimited plans, with a small asterisk and fine print that says “extra per-minute charges apply if you exceed 200 minutes a month”.

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    1. To be fair, the fair usage limits are quite high.

      From the Skype Fair Usage Policy (as of 6/1/09): “Calls to phones and mobiles and Skype To Go* calls are included in your subscription subject to a fair usage limit of 10,000 minutes per user per month, with a maximum of 6 hours per day.”

      At that rate, you could almost talk for 6 hours a day for the entire month and still be within the limit. In my mind, this makes the service practically unlimited.

      That said, I’m not a huge fan of doublespeak and I wish the “fine print” details were a bit more explicit.

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  4. Im unable to download this software. When I click on the install button on the website it does a check I guess on my PC OS and then tells me that its not the correct format and cannot be downloaded. Im using Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Please help. Thanks!

    –Bill

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    1. I figured out what my problem was.. didn’t have .NET 3.5 installed.

      –Bill

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