Last Updated: October 27, 2015 68

Skype: How to Use It

Found In: Instant Messaging

What is Skype?

Skype is what brings us together, no matter how far we may be. Using Skype for messaging, voice calls or simply connect through video, its does it all with utmost simplicity. Sharing your experiences with your loved ones was never this easier. Skype is presented by Microsoft.

With Skype, you can connect with anyone, anytime. Interact with people, share stories, hold meetings – it has just about everything one might need in day to day life. Skype doesn’t bound us with anything, we can use it on just about every device – a phone or a computer or any TV with skype on it. And guess what, its free to use. Using Skype to Skype interaction is free. Send messages, do voice or video calling with other people on Skype for on charges. You can also do group video calls using skype to make the world even smaller.

Using Skype – Features

Skype has an array of special features which one uses in day to day life. Just to summarise, the features can be stated as:

  • Voice Calls – Using Skype-to-Skype calling, you can talk to anyone, anywhere in the world for as long as you want, for absolutely no charges. With no hidden charges, you can be assured of getting no surprises in your monthly bills.
  • Video Calls – This one feature made Skype what it is today. You can enjoy Skype-to-Skype video calls for absolutely no charges and enjoy as long as you want. The distances separating you from your loved ones seem to vanish using skype. You can see them, talk to them and have no worries about anything.
  • Group Video Calls – This is one special not many have. You can enjoy video calling with multiple people at the same time. Create a group and start a video group call and enjoy talking to all of them at the same time.
  • Instant Messaging – Using Skype, you can use instant messaging with other people on skype and chat with them freely. Apart from conventional smileys, Skype has introduced Mojos – a new way of expressing your emotions through your favourite character. These are small clips of your favourite character and use them to spice up your chat.
  • File Sharing – Apart from using Skype for interaction, you can use skype to share files with one another. Delivered instantly, the files can be of any format and is free, just like all skype features.

If you are willing to pay a bit, you can call on any mobile or landline number anywhere in the world from your Skype at very low costs. The costs are very low if compared to normal mobile/landline call rates.

Setting up Skype account

To use Skype, you first need to have a Skype account. With this, you can enjoy all the features without any difficulty. The easiest way to set-up a Skype account is by using your Facebook account. On the Top-right corner of the Skype homepage, you will find ‘Sign-In’ option.

You will be taken to the Sign-In page and there you will find options of Login-In, Create new account or Sign-in by Facebook. Skype will extract your information and set-up your account easily.

If by any chance you don’t have a Facebook account, click on ‘Create new account’ option and then by using your email address and filling up the given form for your details like birthday, gender, country and your mobile number, you can set-up your Skype account. You will then be asked to create a unique Skype Id, which will be the username for your skype account.

Another option that you have is to sign-in by using your Microsoft Account and in the same way as with the Facebook account, Skype will take your information from the account and set-up your skype account.

After the sign-in has been completed, you will be taken forward to ‘My Account’ page and there you can use skype features as you like. You can add credits to your skype account for calling mobile numbers, landlines across the world.

To get easy and complete access to all the features, you should download the Skype application. After downloading the application and signing in with your Skype account, you will be taken to the homepage from where you can add contacts, if have a Facebook account, get friend list by linking your Facebook account with your Skype account.

You can use all Skype features from the application. Video and voice calling, instant messaging, file sharing, adding balance to your account can all be used by clicking on the contact.

Skype for Business

For business use, Microsoft has a version called Skype for Business. It allows you to quickly connect and communicate from anywhere with your employees. All of this comes with enterprise-grade security and management. Some outline features of Skype for Business can be stated as –

  • Quick online meetings with up to 250 people. Send secure messages to a single contact or to a group. File sharing is also possible without any hassle.
  • Voice and HD video conferencing with up to 250 people is possible. Other features of online meetings are –
    • Desktop, application and PowerPoint sharing.
    • Virtual whiteboard, Polling tool and Annotations.
  • Schedule meetings using Outlook and stay connected with all employees all the time and start conversations from applications like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
  • Microsoft has integrated Skype for Business across its Office applications and customers can easily share content from within the application to one another within the organisation.
  • Add email distribution list to contact lists for quick delivery of instant messages to individual members or the entire group.
  • Skype for Business uses Intelligent Instant Message Filter to protect the customer network against the spread of the viruses and spams.

Skype for Business comes in two plans –

  • Online Plan 1 which has a fee of $2.4/month on an annual
  • Online Plan 2 which has a fee of $6.70/month on an annual

Online Plan 1 is a basic plan and many of the premium features are not available while Online Plan 2 with its slightly raised fee offers much better package.