This article provides some basic steps about how to use Skype; the popular Internet calling website. It's superb audio quality and free facility makes it a dearly loved software. Skype…
What is Skype and How Does it Work
Skype is a VoIP service that helps you make calls with your Internet connection. The following article will cover some information to help you understand it.
Skype is an application that allows users to make voice and video calls over the internet. It uses voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to facilitate voice and video calls. This application can be downloaded for free and you can make free calls to people who already have Skype installed on their PC and mobile. Skype uses a P2P model of communication, i.e., each computer has the ability to connect with one another without using a central server.
A Voice over IP is something that helps users make a phone call through Skype platform for free. Once a connection is established between registered users, who can register for free, they can call each other for free on their Skype ID. The users can even dial or receive calls from an unregistered user. But, these calls are charged a fee according to the call made. You need a microphone along with some hardware equipment on your computer to make these calls.
How Does Skype Work?
Skype uses VoIP, a novel technology related to the Internet. Normally, signals are sent via PSTN, either analog or digital. In case of VoIP, SIP is used to create data packets that are sent on the same network one uses for mailing and surfing. These data packets can carry more than the standard voice on a telephone. They can carry text messages, offer live video and stereo quality sound. VoIP also gives ‘screen sharing’ depending on the speed of the Internet connectivity. You can even use Skype conference calls for video conference calling with different clients.
Installing Skype on Computer
1. Visit the Skype website.
2. Click on Get Skype.
3. Choose an option from the following,
- On your computer
- On your mobile
- At work
- On your TV
4.Download the Skype software and install it on your computer.
5.Plug-in your microphone and you are ready to make calls.
How to Make Calls With Skype
You need to first check if the user you are calling is a Skype user or not. This is because calling between Skype users is absolutely free. In case of non-Skype users, you need to have sufficient balance to make calls. Then, you need to use the sound test (Echo) provided by Skype to make sure the voice quality is clear. Then, enter the country code by using the code facility of Skype. Then enter the call information and number in the format required. You need to press ‘Enter’ or ‘Call me’ and start the dialing process.
When ‘Skype phone’ or similar hardware applications are installed on mobile or computer terminals at the receiver end, the whole process of making calls begins. The device must be able to send and receive data packets via an IPv4 network. The voice is captured and converted into an analog format. This format is captured by the microphone and converted into a digital format. This is then passed on to a compressor that minimizes the audio stream size and helps in transfer even with a slow Internet connection.
So, if you have a 24 hour broadband Internet connection, you will find VoIP as the cheapest way of communication. You can make free calls through computer to computer, Skype phones, and similar terminals. You will even receive a standard telephone number from Skype that can be dialed from any phone and redirected to your Skype enabled device.
Using Skype to Call Local and International Numbers
Skype is not only useful for Internet users, but also helps you connect with users of traditional landline phones. You need to use SkypeOut service offered by Skype to make calls to landline phones. This is a paid feature that uses a different protocol from the regular peer-to-peer connections. The fee you pay varies according to the country and locality of the Skype user.
When you get your Skype account configured properly, you can even receive calls when you are not online. A special feature is that Skype forwards all your calls to your cell phone or landline even if you are not connected. The ‘Call Forwarding’ feature is a paid subscription that uses Skype Credit.
An interesting feature you can try is Skype-To-Go number. You do not need any special software or download to use this feature. With this you can make low-cost international calls from you landline or mobile, that too, without signing into your Skype account!. You don’t even need an Internet connection or data plan to make these calls. All you need to do is give the number you wish to call to Skype. Skype will convert this number into a new number with an area code of your choice. Save this number and use it to call the person abroad at the low-call rates offered by Skype.
You can even use Skype online number that is set up according to the country of your preference. This is a feature you will love. If you are a resident of United States, you can set up a local number for Australia through Skypeln. What’s great about this feature is that any non-local, non-Skype user can call you anywhere in the world through their landline like it’s a local call. This is possible through Skype service or call forwarding. This feature too is a paid service though.
Apple iPhone and iPods users can also be happy about use of Internet technology for making free calls. You need to download the Skype applications for iPhone or iPod touch. Then this will help you make and receive calls through Skype in a Wi-Fi area. A Skype account, Wi-Fi connection and an installed application on your device is all you need to make Skype calls. Skype is also available for Android, Symbian and other phones. So, Nokia or Android users too can avail all the benefits of free or low-cost calling from their Internet enabled phone.
SMS Using Skype
Just want to say a simple ‘Hi’ without making an international call? Then Skype is the way to send your message to your loved ones. All you need to do is send a text message over Skype. The SMS charges are very low and negligible when compared to your network charges.
I Can Use Skype For…
There are many features offered by Skype that will come handy especially when you want to save on your phone bill. You can use Skype-to-Skype calling for free. Landline phones and mobiles can be called at very low rates. You can even make conference calls and use Skype TO Go number. Video calling is a breeze and group video calling is fun. Instant messaging as well as SMSing is easy.
Skype helps making free calls between registered users and charges a fee for calls between non-Skype users. However, the call charges are peanuts compared to what you pay for international calls using 3G networks and traditional phone plans! You have the choice of ‘pay-per-go’ or ‘monthly subscriptions’ for using Skype. So now, you can make international calls as and when you like without having to shell out more than you can afford.