[clug] VOIP advice

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Sat Oct 4 11:11:46 GMT 2008

Chris Henman <henman at pobox.com> writes:

> Pardon my ignorance, stupidity, whatever but what about Skype?

I obviously can't speak for others, but for me:

I had no desire to use a proprietary voice solution[1], designed,
encrypted and engineered by a company that really is hostile to
competition, and who had a history of slightly dubious things hidden in
their traffic and code.

I presumed, at the time, that some of the unknown, encrypted traffic
sent to a selection of central servers was going to turn out to be some
sort of dubious user tracking.

Recent events in China suggest that this, indeed, was a real
consideration, though perhaps not one that has yet hurt anyone in a
marginally less restricted country like Australia.

While SIP isn't as sexy, in many ways, it is standard, so I get a choice
of clients, servers, hardware, and PSTN interfaces.  Skype gets, and
isn't going to get, any of those.

It also gives me the opportunity to enhance the system -- adding
encryption I trust, for example, or peer routing or validation systems,
if I feel the need.

> I have been using it now for a number of years on both W$NDOW$ and
> Linux .  It keeps on getting better and I usually have very few
> problems with it.
> Am I missing something on this discussion?

>From a strictly technical level, possibly not.  Unsurprisingly, here of
all places, those are not the only considerations...


[1]  ...even a nice, wideband solution like Skype.  No argument that it
     is well done here.

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