Skype, a VoIP application, is currently one of the most popular voice communication services.
VoIP stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol."
It allows people to make phone calls over their Internet connection. Skype provides excellent sound quality unlike some of the early versions of VoIP. Instead of using the telephone cables, your phone calls made through Skype use the Internet cables. Skype has been around since 2003.
Skype allows users to make free phone calls to other users of this software application whenever they want simply by using their computer. This is referred to as Skype-to-Skype calls. Plus, unlike some VoIP services, no monthly fee is charged to customers wishing to use this service to make free calls only.
Although basic services with Skype are free, premium services do come with a nominal fee which is used to offset costs. These paid services include voicemail, call forwarding, calling to land line phones, and calling to mobile phones.
The Skype service also allows users to make free video calls with high quality video. Plus, calls to call phones and mobiles are offered at great rates, featuring low per minute costs.
Skype is available in 28 different languages so it is used in many countries around the world.
Special features include the ability to forward your messages to your mobile phone whenever you are offline. Plus, you can use an instant messaging feature if you prefer. It even comes with an option to install a Google toolbar.
Skype features two versions of this application. One is for personal use and the other, referred to as Skype for Business, is designed for business use. Skype occasionally updates its application in order to improve its features or fix minor bugs. One such updated version was released in August of 2008.
What kind of operating system do I need?
Skype is available for use with a variety of operating systems including Windows (Business Version), Windows (Beta), Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows Mobile. It can be used with cordless phones, WiFi phones, Nokia N800/N810, and 3 Skypephone.
What do I need to use Skype?
It is necessary to have a few things in place in order to use Skype including the software. Skype's software is offered as a free download from their website.
Only a few items are essential for using Skype. You will probably have most of these already: a computer, an Internet connection, preferably broadband, speakers, a microphone, a working sound card, and the software for Skype.
If you intend to use Skype for video calls, then you need to obtain several items. You should have a high quality video webcam and software so that your video will transfer in high quality mode. Also, you will need a fast broadband connection, which means at least 384 kbps. Plus, you should have a dual-core processor computer.
A few system requirements are also necessary. Your computer should have 256 MB RAM with at least a 1 GHz processor.