What is a Skype?
Skype is FREE downloadable software that you can use on your computer to make free phone calls through your Internet connection (preferably broadband) to family and friends anywhere in the world. Calls can be made at any time, day or night, and even at the weekends. These calls are called Skype-to-Skype calls.
How do I start using Skype?
Firstly, download the Skype software using the link above. After you have done this, you will need to set-up your Skype ID. The ID issues you a customizable name which is connected to a unique number. This is very similar to a traditional telephone number that connects people to your phone.
Skype can be used with a microphone and audio output equipment such as speakers or headphones, but many prefer to use a Skype or VoIP telephone handset.
Skype-to-Skype calls are free but a small charge is made for calling other networks from your Skype telephone. You can purchase Skype-out credits for these calls which allow you to make calls to non-Skype users on traditional landlines at a fraction of the price of ordinary phone calls.
An online number called Skype-in can also be purchased. Skype-in allows users to have an online number so friends, contacts and business colleagues can contact you wherever you are in the world.
What else is beneficial about using Skype?
- Free Skype-to-Skype calls
- Free instant messaging
- Free video calls
- Free conference calls
- Call phones and mobiles
- Send SMS messages (small charge applies)
- Forward calls to a phone when you’re offline
Main Skype features:
Skype is a 6MB download
- Skype is excellent for those who work from home or have a home-based business
- Skype is used all over the world
- Available for cell phones as well
- Skype offers pay as you go as well as monthly plans for unlimited calls to landlines - anytime day or night.
. After you have download the software, simply register your personal information and you are then able to add friends and colleagues to your contacts list. The set up is similar to that of an instant messenger or other voice chat program and is very easy to do. You can add family and friends or simply look for other Skype users to become acquainted with.
To make a call, just click on the name of the contact you want to call and Skype will do the rest. There is also a keypad for making calls with your Skype-out credits to standard telephones and mobiles.
Although Skype is a software application, there are no worries about its security as all calls are encrypted. This ensure you get adequate protection from those trying to listen in on your conversations. Calls to standard telephone or mobile numbers are encrypted until they reach a 'public switched telephone network' (PSTN).
If you don't feel like receiving calls at any time, you can set Skype to say your are busy, away, etc., just like on an instant messenger. If you choose one of these options, or simply are just not around when you receive a call, Skype will note that you missed a call and you can see who has been trying to contact you and at what time.
If you need to keep an activity record of your Skype calls, your inbound and outbound calls activity can be stored as well. Skype also offers regular instant messaging which works just like other messaging software. However, with Skype instant messaging you can only message those who are also using Skype.
As mentioned before, Skype also offers video conferencing where you can speak with up to five other Skype members.
Skype is compatible with PC computers
as well as Apple Macs