In many ways, Skype stands up to hype as a free service. It is truly free, as long as you call other Skype users. And there are no costs for set up or extra hardware. But Skype needs to run through your computer, doesn't have emergency 911 service or phone number portability, and you lose it if the power goes out. So it's best to see Skype as a second service, an ultra-low-cost alternative for long distance and international calls.