For many of us that are technically savvy, this is a bit of an obvious thing.  Skype Video Calls are awesome for grandparents!

I’ve got three kids and we live about 750 miles from my parents.  They do not get to see my kids (their grandkids) nearly as often as any of us would like. 

For over a year now, I’ve been using Skype a great deal and in many ways, next to my cell phone, it has turned into one of my primary business phone lines.

For personal reasons, I’m now trying to get my parents and my brother set up with skype.  My brother, who previously lived near my parents, is now relocating from IL to TX and it is going to be even harder for my parents to stay in touch with all of us.

So I’m hoping technology can help.  It won’t fill the void, but can help keep the conversations from getting stretched, help keep the little kids familiar with grandma and grandpa’s faces, and help everyone stay better adjusted while apart so that family holidays aren’t so awkward.

So the cool thing is that Skype is of course FREE for all skype users.  They don’t start charging until you want to call out from skype to non-skype phone numbers.

 

So if I have a skype account (free) and my mother sets up a skype account (free). 

We can talk in video phone calls on Skype for Free.

Plus, if my brother sets up a skype account (free), then all three of us can have a skype video conference call together at the same time for (free).  🙂

Guess you see where this is going.

Skype comes with other benefits that I use sometimes, like chat and voice mail on the skype account.  Plus, if you start using it like a regular phone, it is cheap, cheap, cheap.  About $15-$30 per year, depending on the deal or package they are offering, but that only breaks down to $1 – $4 per month.  That is so cheap, that you pay it once in full and forget it until next year.

The video quality is definitely good enough to be able to see people, facial expressions, even the rooms they are in.  Its not that choppy video that web cams were famous for in the past, but its not theater quality hd either so this isn’t going to be an over the top install requiring home theater carpet, seating, and a new flat panel.

That said, I do advise a relatively new web cam (they sell for $10 – $40).  Not a big investment for the service it provides.

Cost Summary for Skype video calls for grandma

Service is FREE (skype to skype calls)

Webcam $10 – $40 per month

 

Alternatively – if you want an extra business line for the house or something $15 – $30 gets you unlimited long distance and voice mail.

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