Friday, September 24, 2010

Skype Vs. Nymgo - Which to Choose

I remember way back in the day, when mobiles were non-existent, and methods of communication were limited to phone calls on a land-line, the golden age of personal time, as now your mobile phone, which is as close to you as your internal organs, rarely leaves your hand, and it is highly possible to find a guy in the john and on the phone at the same time! We used to record tape messages for our relatives back home and send them via any travelling friend! Talk about out-dated information! Although it is rather cool to play those tapes now and hear how I used to sound 14 years ago!

Voice over Internet Protocol, that is the future of telecom today.

Is VoIP costing the Ministry of Communications? Yes. But, I believe in Laissez-Faire, a free market economy, survival of the fittest, and if VoIP provides me with the same quality of calls at a mere fraction of the price, then it has my full support.

But, which to choose? The two leading ones currently, in my honest opinion, are Skype and Nymgo.

A couple of things off the bat, these are not free. They are also not like PC-2-Phone or Net-2-Phone where you go out, buy a card, scratch, dial etc. (i.e. a neanderthal experience, and highly wasteful in time and energy).

So, before you choose a provider, make sure you have the resources to charge your account. Nymgo is now blocked in Kuwait, yet there are ways to bypass that block (not , but a more professional method, follow me if interested to know :P ) and recharge it. I have a story about that which I will share in a moment.

So, the best way to charge your account is via Internet shopping card (better received through NBK banks as opposed to Gulf, because with NBK you charge it only with the amount you need to make a purchase, as opposed to Gulf requiring a minimum balance be maintained, I have another rant against The Gulf Bank, which is the worst bank in the Middle East, but I am saving that for another time). Using an internet shopping card is safer than using your VISA (Internet Shopping Card is a Visa Virtuon), in the unlikely case your transaction is hacked, the most the culprit can hope to steal is whatever meager amount you have in it, and via online banking and currency conversion, you can always put just the right amount for your particular transaction.

I digress.

Now, Skype Vs Nymgo.

Both sites are blocked in Kuwait, but to the internet savvy, no block can remain impenetrable.

Lets start with Skype. When I started using Skype, it was ok, I miss the opening theme to making a call, it was funny. However, more often than not, I would hear no audible sound from the other side, whilst the meter was running, meaning the call was connected, but the audio was not working. It happened on several occasions. And that was the main reason I decided to jump ship from Skype to Nymgo. Plus, Skype took a long time to connect the call, as in to hear the dial tone, and at times, the dial tone was not heard, and the call was picked up. So overall, it was messed up. Whether they fixed this issue or not is beyond me.

Phishers unfortunately prey on the helpless, and have moved to Skype as well, being a social platform. I did get one woman claim to be the girlfriend of my long lost relative who shares my same name (who incidently also shared my uncles name!), and had passed away, leaving a huge inheritance with no heir apparent. YAWN.

However, one thing I do miss about Skype is the SMS. See, with Skype you could link your phone number to your calling account, meaning when you made international calls your number would show up to your recipient. This worked with SMS as well. You could TXT someone for example, and if they simply clicked REPLY, it would reply to your phone directly (i.e. you do not look like a cheapskate sending messages from a website; and you end up saving on the cost of interational TXTs, a double entente).

Now, Nymgo. Nymgo surpasses where Skype fails, and fails where Skype surpasses. The calls are much faster, the dial tone is instantaneous. Its rates are less than Skype, by almost half, purportedly.

However, the txt messages show as being received from, hence, your recipient would have to identify you, go out of message reading mode, and into message sending mode, find your name, type a response, send. Then, lather, rinse, repeat. A rather tedious process.

Now, Customer service at Nymgo is terrible. I recently had a problem with my payments. Reason being, I believe, the fact that my payments were coming in to their system through a Germany Router, via Kuwaiti credit card. They must have suspected theft. And they asked me for a copy of my passport, bank statment and credit card.

There responses are automated, and lacking of proper customer service techniques, of showing you a persons name, so as to atleast refer to that person on any future complications regarding the same issue.

Now, as to which to choose, the choice is yours, and yours alone.



Anonymous said...

I believe Skype is unblocked in Kuwait. You should check.

To be honest, I could care less (except for the limited time I'm in kuwait ;p).

Also, you may believe in laissez-faire but unfortunately Kuwait is far from a free market economy. Take for example Kuwait being part of OPEC. We voluntarily limit our export of oil when we could have made the money Norway did during the rise of oil prices-if it wasn't for the quota set by OPEC. Thus, we could have escaped the recent recession a la Norway and the one in the eighties.

Plus, I don't think the MoC initially thought of anything related to economics when they banned skype/nymgo. They probably banned them because one of the communication companies used ''was6a'' and some other person used ''was6a'' to unblock it (if it is unblocked).

I maybe wrong of course :)


LorD AymZ said...

c'n'est pas vrai mon ami :)

Skype is blocked as a website, yet you can download the client from any other site such as tucows or, and since the payment is initiated through the application, which as far as i know cannot be blocked as it can run on several million ports, and through its partner pay website, it is scathe-free. yet still blocked.

OPEC is referred to as a Cartel in the business books, and the anti-trust laws of the USA forbid collusion and price fixing, as well as dumping and predatory pricing.

Remember when oil was @ $170 Saudi would not increase production to drive down the price (demand is a downward sloping curve, supply is upward), however when the price fell to $70, they limited supply to push up the price.

the seedy underbelly of economics and global politics at its finest.

Just a few days ago banks in Europe were levelled with hefty fines for interest rate fixing. A company can be put a trial, a country however...

A few years back, and for a long time, the MoC would make mobile users pay for receiving calls from landlines, and from abroad? now they stopped that, but most times you find it impossible to get a connection, always getting an error tone.

in the end, its all about the money.

Anonymous said...

Idk I read recently the block was lifted. That was a bad source then.

OPEC has faced accusation because it is a cartel. But I wonder does that make cartels legal in kuwait because the country is part of one?

Also, I still don't get why people won't use msn video chat, emails, skype-to-skype calls or ichat. Why pay for something when ur already paying for internet connection.


LorD AymZ said...

its also illegal to marry your cousin in the States, in the arab world it is not. So i guess what they call cartel over there, is called co-operation over here.

i agree, the best things in life are free, so long as the person you want to talk to is @ home, what if they're out? its a quick and easy way to reach anyone, anytime. in the end, its a market niche. + what if u want to talk to a person who is not internet savvy, say a grandparent?

Shelsalfa? said...

skype is way much better..

and u can hack the program cuz for some reason its blocked =p

LorD AymZ said...

guilty as charged ;) where theres a will, theres a way