Prerequisite:

Before discussing Skype, let us know IP telephony (Internet Protocol telephony). It is a general term for the technologies that use the Internet Protocol’s packets to exchange voice, text, fax, and other forms of information that have traditionally been carried over by the dedicated wires of the public telephone network earlier.

How it works?

Using the Internet, calls travel as packets of data on shared lines, avoiding the tolls. The challenge in IP telephony is to deliver the voice, fax, or video packets in a flow to the user.

What’s Skype?

Skype is an IP telephony service provider that offers free calling between subscribers (people who want to make calls) and low-cost calling to people who don’t use the service, ie you can make calls over the phone from the Skype application!

Important features of Skype  to keep in mind.

1. You can make standard telephone calls (computer to computer) as well as video calls. The service is available for desktop computers, notebook and tablet computers and other mobile devices, including mobile phones.

2. You can screen share using Skype and discuss projects, code fixes, errors etc. More than 2 people requiring screen share, you would need a Premium subscription.

3. You can join the meetings, interviews etc, over Skype even from your mobile phone without any hassle. An audio and video call is just a click’s job.

4. A function called SkypeOut enables calls to regular telephones; these calls are charged to a prepaid account or to a flat-fee annual subscription.

5. You can search and add contacts to your profile and use instant messenger also.

You can also SMS people in your contacts list for a fixed fee.

6. You can have what is called a Skype credits and use it to pay your monthly subscription, use it for making outgoing calls and even use it for SMSes

7. You have Echo test which is a facility to check the correctness of the audio settings of your PC.

8. You can share files to users on Skype

9. You can create groups within your contacts and send group messages and do group calls

Skype premium tip:

You have what is called as Skype Manager where you can buy Skype credits and create your team member accounts. You can allocate a fixed amount of Skype credit every time they want to make (official) business calls. This way you can retain the id and the contact and the conversation even after the team member would have left the organization (which otherwise becomes impossible).

Skype’s benefits, beyond the free and low-cost calls, are easy set-up and good audio quality.

Here is how the Skype screen will look like

skype screen

Download skype from http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/and enjoy the service!

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