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I've been using Skype for years but, like MySpace and friends ReUnited, iot is becoming obsolete as it wrecks the original idea of the application by trying to be all things to all people. This means the software gets ever more buggy and needs ever more updates for aspects of the application you never use. I was prompted to write this review because, under Windows 7, the latest version of Skype refuses to close down. Like an app that just interferes too much in what you are trying to do, Skype is becoming like that on your PC ... a bit like an over eager friend who wants to sit and watch you make love in case you need anything. Skype just don't get it. They don't understand we want to use Skype to make the odd phone call and think we are too dumb to notice that all the innovations we constantly have to download are more to do with them wanting to gather more information about us which they can sell on for profit or get us to pay (too much) for what we can often get free when travelling.
Skype was good but, just like everything else on the internet, in the pursuit of profit, it has been wrecked.
Most people assume Skype is cheap and it CAN be but Skype no longer has a monopoly on VOIP and new competitors enter the market all the time. I now use another VOIP firm to do what I used to do on Skype and as more complete strangers on Skype ask me to "add them to my contacts list" and as my true friends desert Skype, there becomes less justification in using it at all.
I strongly advise anyone thinking of using Skype to check Skype's prices for phoning land-lines compared to other VOIP firms' rates. I was quite shocked. I'd merely "assumed" Skype was cheap but it fared very poorly.
The service DOES work and you CAN chat with it but ... it's had its day I think.
Skype is a free internet service for making video calls to people you know all over the world.
Skype was very simple programme to download, direct from skype.com. Once instaled on my computer, an icon was added to my desktop and I just double click this when I want the programme open. I do not use the face to face calls that much, but I do use chat, to talk to various firends and family that happen to be online while I am. I prefer to use this because it means I can keep up several different conversations at the same time as doing other things that I want to do on the internet. Its a briliant way of keeping in touch with the minutia of peoples lives.
I also use the Skype service when I am abroad in order to to telephone my elderly father. This particular service is not free, but it only costs around 1p per minute to ring from my computer to his landline and check up on him.
In order to do this I had to give Skype my credit card details, and even though, when prompted,I refused the automatic top-up option, they still went ahead and did an automatic top up when my balance reached below 2 pounds. Even though some people might like the convenience of this service, I dont personally, so I had to go into My Account and find where to switch the automatic top-up off. This wasn't difficult to do but I am knocking off one point bacause they didnt listen to my first requirements.
Skype is the new MSN messenger, only better!
Skype is a chat app, where you can add your friends, and participate in group video and voice calls together, and just normal typing chats. You set up an account, choose a skype name and then add your friends Skype names using the main menu. Once they have accepted you as a contact, you have the option to voice call them (you will need a headset with a microphone, or a laptop with a built in mic) and/or video call them (you will need the mic and a working webcam). It is still possible to call without these things, however obviously without them you will be unable to talk and see each other.
You can do one on one calls, or group calls, however if you want to participate in a group video call, you will need skype premium, a package that costs money, but allows more features, such as group video chats, and using your skype to call landline phones. Personally, I do not have premium as I am not to keen on video calls, but it's personal preference.
Quality of calls will often depend on your webcam and mic quality, as well as internet connection. Skype itself is usually good, however on occasion the call can drop, and it can crash. This should rarely happen though. The skype software is generally fast and of good quality.
The mobile and tablet app for skype is another story, it is dreadful. It crashes all the time, does not allow you to host group calls of any kind, whether you have premium or not, is slow and unresponsive, and cuts out at times. You should only download this if you need skype in an emergency.
If you liked MSN before it shut down, you should give skype a go. It's suitable for all ages and reasonably easy to operate.
Skype is an amazing social network! Skype is an application for your computer where you can chat with your friends, family, long distance persons, and business type of meeting! You can use your webcam to video chat with someone! You can use the chat bar to type if you don't feel like talking. You can share screens, which if you go to the option selection bar you can show your screen to the people you are talking to, great for demonstrational purposes! Skype has the option of group chats. Group chats are exactly what its title is. You can have a business meeting from your bedroom or have a gaming or chatting session with your friends from the kitchen! Skype has an application for the phone! So now it's portable network! I love Skype personally because I can chat with a friend one on one without having anyone eavesdropping behind my back. I game a lot, so it's the best thing for me when I game! This app is a very useful app and I advise anyone to get it! Just hop on, add some friends or family or whoever you want and just go at it chatting! Happy Skyping!
I've used Skype for a long time and I've decided that it's finally time to write a consumer review for this program. Skype has been a very famous software for many years now, and it's set to change the future of social networking. It's main service is the ability to call anybody in the world at anytime. Some features are free and some are paid for. To get the best use of Skype, you will need a microphone and a webcam, and it helps if they are great quality.
I would disagree with anyone who says that Skype is very unknown, I've heard lots of people talk about it and Skype has had over 70 reviews on this site. Many people use this for many different reasons. It's great to contact people who are far away. I use Skype to call my friends abroad and have great group chats with them.
Since joining microsoft it is also possible to talk to your facebook and MSN contacts on Skype without having to go on either of these sites. This makes it easier than ever to keep in touch with your friends and loved ones.
The following services are free:
* Instant messages - I have never had any problems with this.
* Calling from computer to computer both video and chat - video chats are only free if it's from computer to computer and it's a one to one setting.
*Group chats using only microphones - the quality depends on the quality of the microphones and the environment you're in.
The Following services you have to pay for:
* Video chat with lots of people, which I have never tried, but it looks so awesome and clever.
* Talking to people from computer to phone, which gives off great sound quality. Calls can be expensive, but the quality is great from my experience.
Recently Microsoft have been offering vouchers for skype that are worth £1.26 and I've used this voucher up and I rang my boyfriend with it on Skype and he was impressed with how clean and crisp I sounded. He was also quite shocked as well.
My personal opinion on Skype is that it's improved greatly over the years. In the past I've struggled because group chats always lags and when I use mobile apps, the lag is even worse and it's almost impossible to use Skype. Over the years it's joined with Microsoft and had a lot of updates and now lags are no longer a problem, but I do get them once in a while when I start up on my Kindle Fire, but on my laptop it's a lot better now. My least favourite thing about Skype other than the things I've already mentioned is the fact is the limited choice of smileys, but the smileys they do have are pretty good, but nothing outstanding. But I would recommend Skype and I think it is a very useful program to have on any device that uses the internet.
Skype is possibly one of the most unknown popular Social Networking programs as it is forever being knocked down by big names such as Twitter and Facebook, this is most likely because most people don't understand the advantage of having Skype.
Skype gives people the chance all over the world to speak to their friends and family in separate countries and time zones other than their own, whether it be through text, video or phone call.
Skype is basically a very advanced version of Instant Messenger MSN, with it's incredibly professional layout and easy accessibility, Skype is known to very rarely crash and provides instant updates frequently.
I personally use Skype to talk to my Friends from work and friends I have made online, it's very helpful when you want to give someone a way of contacting you fast and being able to talk more on a personal level.
The use of Video chat also helps when you want to talk to someone overseas without having to worry about call rates and charges.
I highly recommend Skype to everyone, more and more people are getting it everyday and it's possibly one of the best Social Networking programs out there!
@ About, Speed, Using Skype @
When i first got Skype, i used it to call friends who lived abroad. Now i use it for practically everything to do with video calls. There is however, one big problem for me, and for anyone who wants to use this for work purposes: you cant record audio or video files. You need to download a separate hyper cam from the web in order to do this, so you will never be able to re watch your meeting with just Skype. The good thing though, is that Skype to Skype calls over the internet are completely free of charge and simple to use.
Skype will load very fast when you click on it, and will also search for background calls while you run your computer, so if you are typing a document and don't have Skype on it will still come up as an incoming call. This will use a lot of CPU power on much older computers with less ram but luckily you can turn this feature off in the preferences menu.
Skype is completely customisable to suit your performance and PC speeds, and internet speeds by lowering the video and audio quality of the program. In my experience, the lowest quality picture is barely visible, so Skype is really for those who use faster PCs.
@ Service, Help, Ease of use, Reliability @
When you first load Skype you get a really high quality test call which you can ring free of charge and test the sound quality with. Skype has a very well laid out system where almost everything has icons. These are simple icons and easy to understand e.g to end a call you press the phone down button.
In my experience Skype has been a very stable and reliable piece of software because whilst i have never had a call go down, i have never had the program crash either. Signing in takes seconds and you can set up a profile within minutes. You don't have to display any information if you don't want to, and where privacy is concerned i have found it to be very secure. No one can call me unless they are a contact. So no strangers.
The help menus on Skype are easy to use and if you get lost you can visit the Skype website which has lots of useful help pages. Although because their menus are easy to navigate i have never had to use these help pages. There is no computer jargon until you enter the advanced set up menus which can become quite confusing.
@ Overall @
Skype is a brilliant internet communication tool, and perfect for personal use. For business use however, if you need to record your meeting and refer to notes later on then i recommend getting a hyper cam to record with, its the one feature i wish the software had built in.
Skype has been around for several years on the Internet. It's a program which people can use to phone each other for free via the Internet. Skype also offers the option of phoning landlines and mobile telephone numbers (national and international). Users can download the program for free of the Skype website and the user only needs speakers and a microphone.
What are the features of Skype?
Phoning Landlines and mobile telephones
Skype offers different amount of features. Users can not only phone each other but also landlines and mobile phones. This feature is possible from your computer, mobile phones and the option is also available at some televisions of Samsung and Panasonic.
Skype gives the option to send texts to other Skype users but also to mobile telephone numbers.
Skype started to the option to phone each other for free but for the last few years it also offers the option of free video calling. Skype also gives users the option of making HD quality video calls. For this the user needs a HD webcam, the latest version of skype, a dual core processor and a internet connection of at least 512 Kbit/s.
Group video calling
You can hold a video conference with Skype with two or more people at the same time. To use this feature at least one of the participants needs a Skype Premium subscription which can be bought on the Skype website.
With your home computer and laptop you can download Skype from the official website. Skype runs only on computers with Windows, Mac and Linux operation systems. Skype can also be downloaded for the mobile phone with Android, the iPhone and Symbian phones. It's also available for the iPad. Some televisions of the brand Samsung and Panasonic can be used with Skype.
Installing the program is very easy and you only need to download the file and then you can just follow the instructions on the screen. You just need to create an account and you can use the program.
The cost of using Skype
Downloading Skype is free and calling/video chat with other Skype users is free but other services such as phoning landlines will cost you money. There are the following subscriptions are available:
Pay As You Go
A Skype user pays only for what he or she uses. The costs vary on whether it is a landline or mobile number. To use Skype the user must buy credit before able to make phone calls.
Pay per month
A user of Skype can subscribe monthly were he receives a certain amount of minutes every month.
When you want to use the option of group video chat he needs the Spype Premium which can be bought per month but also per day.
Using Skype worked well on my computer and I am particularly surprised about the quality of sound. I also have tried the video chat feature a couple of times and this went without any problem.The program is certainly a godsend when you know people who live abroad, because it's much cheaper.
We had heard a lot about Skype but like a lot of people did nothing about it until a couple of months ago and now I so wish that we had done it when we first heard about it.
If you have never heard of Skype or used it you could be a little bit suspicious as well it is Free and is there such a thing as having anything Free.
Yes this is Free and Great.
Skype is an internet phone programme and you dont need anything added to it unless of course you want to.
To get Skype you type in Skype on any search engine and it will come up with the Skype site. From here you just download the programme. Depending on the speed of your computer it is really a case of seconds or a couple of minutes.
You then just set up your account with your email and your namewhich doesnt have to be the one on your birth certificate!
Once you have done that you are ready to call but of course you need someone to call so it is good to get a friend that you telephone or family. Then instead of using the land line for a chat you just look to see if they are on line which is easy to tell as when you go on skype you will see their name with a tick by it if they are free to call. Press call, wait for them to reply and then chat away free as long as you want.
That is one way to use Skype. Another which I find great is to do a video call. This is great because you can see each other as well. To use this you will both need a webcam which you can get a good one between £14 and £20 and believe me it will pay for itself. You set up the webcam and instead of phone calling you use it exactly the same but press videocall instead and then you can talk to each other and see each other as well.
We went to Canada a couple of weeks ago and took our laptop with us that has a built in webcam in it and we were able to telephone home using the webcam so we could see them and chat free. It was great as we didnt have to work out the time difference too much and be on the phone the exact time as we could check to see if they were on and wait if needed. We found it useful showing them around the room and things we had bought. One item I didnt take into account that it was still a couple of months to the cold weather and bought the wrong size for my Grandson, my daughter could see it over the webcam Skype and I changed it before getting home with the wrong size.
You do need quite a fast processor if using a webcam or the picture and voice can be very jerky. Our laptop has a duel core intel i5 processor and it worked perfectly. but all in all it is great.
I must add that if you caqll a landline or a mobile you can do it but you would need to take out a subscription but computer to computer is free.
Give it a go if you have not tried it and you wont regret it.
My family now all call each other through Skype so we not only talk but can see each other. The Grandchildren love this and although I dont live far from them and see them every day it would be ideal for Grandparents and Grandchildren who live a distance from each other
also on ciao
I used to always hear about using skype but I never bothered with it because I wasn't all too sure why I would need it. For me, msn and webcam was enough and I didn't see why anyone would need to use skype.
But as uni drew closer, everyone kept going on about 'skyping' people. So I figured I'd download it and try it out, just for the sake of it. And I've never looked back since.
Voice calls on msn just don't match up to skype. Having skype is like being able to make free telephone calls, which is essentially what it's all about. The video calls are especially good as it's always nice to see people's faces. And with skype, you can full screen the video which is more than you can do on a programme such as msn.
Skype is fairly simple to use, evidence is that a lot of parents use it!!!
Skype can detect background noise when you are making a call and it will tell you so that you can do something about it and avoid deafening the person that you are in a call with. Sometimes it's just small noises that may seem trivial to you but will magnify when being heard by the person on the receiving end.
I very rarely have problems with skype. But there have been the odd occasions where I am unable to sign in. But that may be to do with my internet connection rather than skype itself.
There is a timer on the side when you are making calls so you can keep track of how long you've been talking for. At the same time you can also type things to the other person. That's usually quite useful if you start skyping through to the early hours of the morning and your housemates are trying to sleep!
It's not too easy to search for contacts unless you know their skype name. But for me, skype is one of those things where I'll only add a few people anyway as it's quite personal.
Installation of skype was a very simple process and then you create your account.
Skype always tells you if there's an update, and that's also very quick and easy.
So for any parents who have kids going off to uni, or for anyone who is away from their partner, Skype is your friend!
I use skype nearly all day everyday not only to chat with freinds but also to work with as they do fantastic conferance video calling to clients and work colleagues.
Skype is an online free messnger where you can type to people, web cam one another and join conferances so group calls basically with up to 4 people in tow. It is free to use however if yu want to make phone calls from skype to a mobile or landline then you have to add credit, but syaing this the credit is incredibly cheap and skype to skype calls are free.
It is the cheapest way to contact people and therefore if people are skype to skype then you can have the cheapest lines of communication outside of bt and other main leading telephone companies.
There are skype handsets which can be bought, as a proper phone or simply as a head set, I prefer to theadsets when havgin conferances on skype as it allows you to have your hands free to continue to type when needed.
Regarding webcam I have not found a messenger which produces such as clear a picture as skype and the picture can be made full screen also which is always a bonus.
You can find people who are on skype by simply typing in their name, email address or skype name and then instantly add them as frends, when you see your freind list the ones who are online will show up with either a green lit status to say they are able to chat or a yellow one to state they are away.
It is a quirky and very clear way of communication on the web and certainly better than the majority of chat providers online as well as much cheaper overall.
I get the sense that Skype has grown a lot since the above description was written. It is now used widely around the world as a cheap (and often free) tool for making phone calls to people either a few miles down the road, or several thousand miles across the world.
Features include voice calls (it's main focus), webcam chat and IM. It is also possible to buy certain packages which let you have free monthly calls to certain countries, or groups of countries. These deals are largely inexpensive, and provide much better value for money than regular telephone operators, especially if you are in regular contact with someone abroad.
The IM and webcam services offer an alternative when you'd rather just see the person, or send text messages, although I rarely use these.
But what about the quality and reliability?
To be honest, rather mixed in my opinion. Granted, my internet provider is not too great, but Skype too has an awful habit of cutting me off calls at no notice. Other problems include big silent gaps in conversations and large periodic distortions. Often the call won't even connect.
I know I shouldn't be complaining about something that essentially offers free calls, but even so I expected a bit better from Skype - given all the hype.
Their range of deals and options are impressive and on paper very useful. But they need to convert that into sustained reliability. People may want free calls - but they will often end up paying if it means they can actually sustain a conversation. Often times I've been trying to talk to my girlfriend on Skype - who lives abroad, and we've just had to give up and use the regular phone instead. This is frustrating especially if you've already purchased a package.
Overall, promising features, but improvement needed.
I finally got Skype after being invited to it by a friend... I don't know why, it just wasn't very appealing before- but now I've got it... it really isn't that bad!
The layout of Skype is pretty easy to navigate. It has your contact list on one side, their information in a box at the top, and the chat on the bottom right. It is all in one window, so it does not clutter your desktop like MSN would do.
The tabs at the top are useful, has all the options and settings you can adjust. I have to admit that I was slightly lost at the beginning after download and not sure what to do, but the opening welcome screen and the subsequent large INVITE button kind of made it self explanitory.
~~~EASE OF USE~~~
So once I got it, I invited all my friends- they have a list of applications that are compatible such as Facebook, so typing my details in, I was immediately able to select which of my Facebook friends who have Skype I want to add. Once they have confirmed, I'm ready to go! It was done within a few minutes.
Chatting is pretty basic here, and really more like a FB inbox style chatting system. I'm not too fond of it- but if someone has Skype and not MSN, then fine.
I find it annoying that instant messaging with someone that appear offline - you have to constantly flick your contact list and scroll to find the flashing conversatin. This is VERY annoying.
CALLING (+SOUND QUALITY)~
When calling someone the sound quality is pretty good- depending on your headphones/speakers and your microphone. I would advise investing on good set if you are going to be using this avidly. I rarely receive calls but on the off chance that I do, it is of a good quality.
The video quality depends on the other person's webcam. I personally have got a pretty good one so the quality is good, but it all depends on the webcam of the other person- but bit rate and the refresh rate is quick so it doesn't lag.
The Skype sound effects are super scary. The first time I signed off- it made a weird whirring noise which gave me such a shock- I was VERY scared. I didn't know what it was then I figured it was the Skype... BAD! I would advise disabling the sound effects on start up and shut down of the program.
Skype is FREE to download and calls to other Skype users is FREE, but calling landlines, mobile phones or internationally will be extra charge. You can buy Skype credit of £5 or £10 which expires after 180 days unless you make atleast one call. You can also get a subscription as follows~
UNLIMITED COUNTRY £3.39/month
UNLIMITED EUROPE £4.54/month
UNLIMITED WORLD £7.99/month
Those costs are for unlimited landline calls.
I would recommend Skype for those who like to keep in contact over the phone with people especially internationally, and can make use of the package. However, for those that just use it for instant messaging, keep to MSN- Skype just does not excel in that area.
If there is anybody out there that doesn't know by know Skype is a program you can download free of charge to make calls using your computer to somebody else who also has Skype installed on their computer. This service is free of charge. You can also communicate via instant messages. That is how most people use Skype.
But there are other options that basically involves substituting your landline for a Skype account. That is you can use skype to call 'real' telephone numbers, to those that have not installed Skype. You don't see the person you are talking to (unless they have a Skype phone / video phone) but conduct the conversation over your computer. I have not done this myself, but I've spoken to users of this service that say it is cheaper than having a land line. Yes, this service is not free!
My own experience with Skype is a very positive one. It enables me to keep in touch with those I'm close to around the world free of charge. That was a concept absolutely unheard of just a decade or so ago and the idea of free calls would have probably been laughed at too.
How good your experience is with Skype depends on a few factors though - above all it depends on the package / bandwith you and the person you are calling are conducting the call over. Too low and the call will be poor quality, impossible even - using a dial up modem is a no - no really. You can use Skype to send instant messages, but in most cases you won't be able to get a picture / hold a conversation. Other factors are the service / network providers both callers use (do they restrict bandwith at certain times, is the network busier at certain times etc). If they are the picture will often be blotchy / disjointed. Also if the computer has a slow processor / poor web camera this will affect call quality. I have also had to turn the video off mid call as sometimes the picture freezes up. Occasionally this happens but its worth remembering the call is free!
In summary for many people Skype is a godsend. Truly highly recommended.
I first came across Skype a year or so back when my company started using it and despite some teething problems when we first started using it I think it's fantastic now and wouldn't be without it. Before Skype our company used MSN messenger but Skype for me is better and is improving it's quality all the time. I work from home alot as does alot of my company and also in Ireland a but so Skype has become invaluable to our daily working life for meetings etc. The reason is because it is free to make calls to anyone if you have the internet on your computer which is fantastic. Before we used this it would cost the company more as they would have ring my mobile to have conference meetings which cost more money.
In addition I also have a friend in Australia and this makes it so much easier to call him whenever I want if he's online and chat on this. Also, if you have a webcam you can chat with your headphones and see him on the screen too which is fantastic.
When I first starting using skype at home or in Ireland the quality wasn't always that great and there was alot of interference on calls with things breaking up, but these have been ironed out for me and it is now hugely improved in my opinion.
Skype is a company that was set up to specialize in phone calls across the world. There are free phone calls on skype over the internet to other skype users and calls to landlines or mobiles that are charged. I have to admit I only ever used the free calls option but believe you can top up your account for the other calls with Paypal, credit cards etc and the costs from what I hear are fairly reasonable.
Skype is easy to download and set up and you easily search for friends and family by their real name or skype name. The headset I possess is comfortable to wear too so quite handy for long work calls. You also don't have to be a genius to make or answer a call which is great as they have kept it simple. If you want to phone someone find their name and click on the green call button to call and to answer a phone it will ring and just answer again with the green call button. When you wish to hang up just press the red phone button.
I would highly recommend Skype to anyone who needs to contact anyone who lives along way away or just to call friends for free over the internet. It has certainly changed things for me for the better since I started using it.