Now You Can Monitor Your Skype Subscription Usage In Real Time
Not sure if most have noticed but the Skype FUP (“Fair Usage Policy”) has been updated. More here:
There are some important additional daily limits for most subscriptions ,to be aware of, as you can see, with subscriptions along with the Monthly 10,000 Minute limitations with most Skype subscriptions, they are:
A maximum of 6 hours of subscription based calls per day.
No more than 50 different numbers in total can be called per day.
I quote from the FUP (” I love saying that “)
“Once these limits are exceeded Skype will charge normal rates and a connection fee for any additional minutes used. Subscriptions are for individual use only. Each subscription is to be used by one person only and is not to be shared with any other user (whether via a PBX, call centre, computer or any other means).”
This is why I created the SMFS “Subscription Monitor for Skype”. Which will help you know when you are getting close to any of these limits so that if needed you can make sure you have some extra Skype credit in your account, if and when needed.
]]> Ok, so what, so who needs/wants a subcription monitor anyways?
There are a few reasons why you would want a subscription monitor, here are some of the major reasons:
Your Skype call history stored on your Windows system ONLY reflects the calls you made on that individual Windows system.
Example: If you use Skype on more than one computer, in your home, at work, at friends homes, you can’t get the total call history from those systems, if you have used more than one system during that day or that month.
If you use call transfer, you cannot get any information on the length of any transferred call, even from the system that transferred the call.
Of course you can go view your call history by logging on at the Skype web site and viewing your call history, but you had better have a pen and paper, and a good calculator, because:
Both daily and monthly subscription limits are based on GMT 0. Meaning, for example, If you live in Saint Paul, MN, where it is GMT -6 hours, with daylight savings time, the old day ends and the new day starts at 18:00 or 06:00PM.
The month of March for example for Skype Subscription limits started on February 28th at 18:00 or 06:00PM NOT March 1st at Midnight In Saint Paul MN.
Skype rounds minutes off to the next minute. So if your call lasts 30:12 seconds, then that call counts as 31 minutes, NOT 30 minutes. While this seems easy to understand, adding these rounded minutes up many times a day, when you have, hundreds or over a thousand calls a month manually, is no easy task.
“The Subscription Monitor for Skype”, does NOT require a Skype client to be running. So, if you want to keep track of your minutes at work and at home, or at a friends house, you can run “The Subscription Monitor for Skype” even before starting Skype to check what your current minutes are.
“The Subscription Monitor for Skype” refreshes automatically, every 30 minutes. There also is a “Update Now” button that when pressed will update your Subscription limits at anytime as well.
Since “The Subscription Monitor for Skype” does not require a Skype client to run, you can monitor ANY Skype name at anytime, even if you are logged on as another Skype name, even if you use a Linux or a Mac normally, or any combination of different computers and/or computer platforms during the day or month, but have access to a Windows based system at the moment, you can view your current Skype subscription values in real-time for the day as well as the entire month and at anytime.
“The Subscription Monitor for Skype” allows you to save your Skype name and password, so that each time “The Subscription Monitor for Skype” is started it will automatically start getting Subscription information, for the last Skype name when it was used the last time it ran. “The Subscription Monitor for Skype” stores passwords locally on the computer in question, using safe and approved encryption methods.
This is an optional feature, and can be disabled, by clicking the “Config” button and unchecking the “Save” check box. If the “Save” check box is checked, “The Subscription Monitor for Skype” will remember your Skype name and password, and when started each time will begin to display the current values of your Subscription limits for the last Skype name entered.
You can change the Skype name and password at anytime to look at other Skype names Subscription limits without stopping “The Subscription Monitor for Skype” by simply clicking on the “Config” button and entering a new Skype name and password, and then pressing the “Validate” button.
You will then see the current subscription limit values for the new Skype name and password you entered and validated.
If you enter a Skype name that does not have a subscription, totals of zero will display for that Skype name, click the help link or help menu item (“By right-clicking on the SMFS icon”) to learn about how to get a Skype subscription and other Skype services.
Of course if the Skype name you enter has not used any of your subscription minutes or calls for the new month, all totals will be zero as well.
“The Subscription Monitor for Skype” uses a video visplay icon, located in the System Tray, when all your limits are under roughly 89 percent usage, a video display icon with a green screen is displayed in the System Tray:
Daily Different Numbers Max 50 less than 45
Daily Call Minutes Max 360 Less than 324
Monthly Call Minutes Max 10,000 less than 9000
“The Subscription Monitor for Skype” uses a video display icon, located in the System Tray, when one of your limits are at roughly 90 percent usage and more, a video display icon with a yellow screen is displayed in the System Tray:
Daily Different Numbers Max 50 greater than 45
Daily Call Minutes Max 360 greater than 324
Monthly Call Minutes Max 10,000 greater than 9000
“The Subscription Monitor for Skype” uses a video display icon, located in the System Tray, when one of your limits are at roughly 95 percent usage and above, a video display icon with a red screen is displayed in the System Tray:
Daily Different Numbers Max 50 greater than 47
Daily Call Minutes Max 360 Less greater 342
Monthly Call Minutes Max 10,000 greater than 9500.
The local time that your Daily Limits are reset for your subscription.
If any limit violations have taken place anytime during the current month, they will be displayed in local date and time, and the subscription violation that took placed will be listed.
All subscription violations are listed from most recent to earliest violation this month.
If you see one violation displayed, click on the arrow to view any other violations, there maybe more than one violation, if you do not see the word “None” displayed in the violations box.
If there are no subscription violations this month, then none will be listed.
This was done for those who may have violated the subscription limits in the past and were NOT using SMFS, but are today, since SMFS shows current subscription values for today. They might not know without this feature why their subscription was suspended, since SMFS only shows todays totals and monthly totals.
By left clicking on the “The Subscription Monitor for Skype” you can see all the Subscription Limits as well as a video display icon for green, yellow and red much like the color for the Icon in the System tray, but the proper color for any item listed above. Since there maybe some limits at red, yellow and green at the same time.
By right clicking the “The Subscription Monitor for Skype” you can see a menu that allows you to go to the Skype forum, Display The SMFS window, get Help for SMFS, go to the SaveOnTelephoneBills.com web site, and close the menu as well. This same menu can be displayed by right-clicking on ANY blank area on the SMFS window as well.
The color of the icon shown in the Sytem Tray reflects the worse Skype subscription limit total, so if some subscription limit totals are at yellow and green, but one is red, then the icon located in the System Tray will be red. Each subscription limit also has a video display icon along side of the total that will reflect the green, yellow, red status of each susbscription total being monitored.
Here are pictures of SMFS – “The Subscription Monitor For Skype” on showing after the “Config” button being clicked so that another Skype name and password can be entered, and the other show the window after that information was entered and the verify button was pressed:
“The Subscription Monitor For Skype” can be unistalled at anytime by using the Windows Add/Remove Programs from your Windows Control Panel.
If your firewall intially blocks “The Subscription Monitor For Skype” at install time, simply click the “Update Now” button to retry until you see a Last Update time. Currently, only default proxy support is in place, for those that use a proxy, but a future update will also support proxies with user credentials as well.
If you lose your connection or are not connected the icon in the System Tray will have a blue color, not green, yellow or red, you can at anytime click the “Update Now” button to force a re-connect or wait for the normal 30 minute time period where an attempt to connect will be tried again.
Please remember that SMFS is a 3rd party program and that SMFS is new, please post any questions or issues you feel you may have here with it, so that suggestions for changes and improvements can be made.