how to:How To Make Free Internet Calls with Skype
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice calls over the internet (known as VOIP). Calls to landline or mobile phones can be made for a fee using Skype’s debit-based user accounts system. You can also use Skype to instant message, transfer files, and video conference.
Skype is very popular, especially for people communicating long distance. By the end of 2009, the service had over 520 million registered users. Some countries block VOIP, especially in places where telecommunications services are owned by the government.
The newest release of Skype - version 5.0 - is now available for Windows (it’s currently not available for Mac users). New features include an integration with your Facebook news feed, an improved user interface that makes navigating easier, and a new group video calling feature (previously, video calls only worked between two users at a time). Each group member must have Skype 5.0 for this feature to work.
With the new Facebook integration, users can see their Facebook News Feeds in Skype, post status updates that can be synced with your Skype mood message, call and SMS your Facebook friends on their mobile phones and landlines, and make a free Skype-to-Skype call if your Facebook friend is also a Skype contact.
Point your browser to http://www.skype.com/.
Click on the “Get Skype” tab. You will be directed to the download page. Under “On your computer,” click on the green link to download the software application to your computer. You will be directed to another page; click on the “Download now” button. Make sure you download the software for the operating system you use.
The Skype file should automatically begin downloading. Once the file has finished downloading, double-click on the icon. The first time you start Skype, you will be asked to read and accept our End User License Agreement. Click “Accept” only after you have read and understood these terms.
Next, you’ll need to set up your Skype account. Each Skype user has a unique Skype Name. Your name must be at least six characters. Add the Skype Name you want and a password. If the Skype Name is already taken by another user, you will be prompted to enter a new Name. You can also provide an email address if you want. This address will be used in case you forget your password. Follow the directions and then Sign In for the first time.
To add contacts: Click on the Directory tab. Then click the link “See friends who are already on Skype.” If your friends are already on Skype, you’ll see them listed and a way to add them to your contacts.
To add a specific person: Click on the Directory tab, and then go to Find people. Click in the box and type the person’s name, email address, or Skype name, then click Search. Skype will perform a search for that person; if there are search results, you’ll see a list. See if you can find the person you were looking for. If you do, click on the contact name, then click Add contact. This opens a new window that let’s you send a message to that person. Compose a quick message and click OK to send it. If that person accepts your invitation, he or she will show up in your Contacts list.
What do the colored icons mean next to a Skype user’s name on your contacts list? Green means the user is online. Yellow means that user is online, but idle. Red means that user is online, but may be busy. Grey means the user is offline.
To make a call: Click on the Contacts button at the top of the Skype application. In your Contacts list, find the person you want to call and and click on their name. In the main window, you will see that person’s details. Click on the green call button to place a call. You should hear ringing.
Can’t hear the person on the other end of the call? Click on the Quality icon at the top of the call window.
Want to have video with your call? You must have your webcam plugged in and on. Click on the green video call button to make a video call.
To end your call: Click on the red end call button.
To call someone on a mobile or landline phone, you will have to pay using the Skype Credit debit system. Purchase credit on the site, and then place your calls.
To send an instant message: Go to your Contacts list. Find the person you want to message and click on that user’s name. In the main window, click in the typing box. Type a message and then click the blue send button or press the Return key.
Want to chat as a group? To add more users to your chat room, click “+ Add people” to add more people to the conversation.