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The hype on Skype

Created date

November 23rd, 2010

The world of computers may be finding its way into the living room, but it s also looking to replace your phone as the central gadget for voice communication. You may have heard of using voiceover IP or phone calls over the Internet. One of the leading products available for this service is Skype, and it is used by over a half billion users each day. Skype allows you to make calls from your computer or a smartphone (using a Skype app that you can download to your phone seperately). The primary advantage to using Skype is that it enables you to place calls to other Skype users for free regardless of their location. This was a huge advantage to Skype several years ago (although now most phone service plans offer unlimited local and long distance). Once you register and create an account on Skype, you have a unique Skype name that others can use to call you. You can do voice calls to other Skype users on a standard Mac or PC computer. Skype has evolved to do much more:

  • Calling phones/mobile phones: You can use Skype to place calls to any standard phone number for a slight fee. You can purchase credits similair to pre-paid phone cards or purchase a monthly subscription.
  • Instant messaging/video calling: If you have a computer with a webcam and microphone, you can have a face-to-face video chat with other Skype users. If you don t have a webcam, or don t want to do a video call, you can use Skype to instant message with other users.
  • Group calls: Skype is used frequently in business for its ability to allow for group video calls. You can create groups from your lists of contacts and initiate calls with multiple users.
  • Never miss a call: For a fee, or if you are a Skype subscriber, you can have Skype forward calls to any phone number you choose when you are not online. You can also send files on your computer to other Skype users. If you want Skype to replace your landline or mobile phone, be aware that Skype is not capable of dialing emergency phone numbers such as 911. The FCC and Skype recommend that you have a mobile phone or landline available at all times for this reason.