Skype is one of the best voice over IP services and instant messaging clients that comes bundled with a powerful set of calling, video, messaging and sharing capabilities. The program can be run on various platforms, such as Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, BlackBerry 10, iOS, Symbian and Windows Phone, as well as Windows 8.1 tablets and touch PCs.
Account registration and prior configuration settings
You may sign in using your Skype account or skip this step by entering your Microsoft or Facebook authentication parameters.
As soon as you are able to sign in, the program reveals a configuration wizard designed to help you check your sound and video by testing your speakers, microphone and webcam, and set a profile picture by taking an image or uploading a custom photo from your computer
Intuitive user interface
Taking into consideration that the utility aims to integrate calling, video, messaging and sharing options into a single layout, it manages to successfully deliver a clean and smart design so you won’t get lost navigating or tweaking its features.
Skype lists all your contacts in the main window, provides quick access to recent conservations, and lets you search for contacts by name, Skype name or email, or you can save a phone number.
What’s more, you can check out updates from your contacts, call mobiles and landlines with the aid of the built-in dial pad, create a group for sending instant messaging and files, and change your status (Online, Away, Do Not Disturb, Invisible or Offline).
Calling and video features
Skype gives you the possibility to call anyone else on Skype, call mobiles and landlines worldwide, set a group of people together on one call or video call, get your Skype calls forwarded to any phone, as well as enable a smart video feature for getting closer with a face to face catch up.
Sending messages and sharing data
The tool gives you the freedom to send a message during video sessions, make use of the instant messaging service for chatting with your friends, as well as create voice messages.
The instant messaging panel is kept very simple, and you may insert various emoticons, drag and drop files (be they documents, images, photos or videos) directly into the conversation window, search for words using Bing, remove or copy messages to the clipboard, edit sent messages directly in the conversation panel, and sort messages by Skype or SMS.
Contact management and other handy features
You can view the profile of a user, rename it, add it to Favorites or a custom list, mark conversation as unread, block a person, view old messages, remove a user from Contacts, and hide the selected conversation.
What’s more, the tool lets you send contact details on Skype by simply dragging and dropping the contact into the chat, share your computer screen, as well as send instant messages, enable video calls with your Facebook friends, and view news feed directly from Skype.
Skype lets you back up your contacts to VCF file format, sort contacts by online or name, reveal Outlook contacts, hide those who are offline, and enable IM notifications.
- Free unlimited worldwide phone calls to anyone else on Skype, anywhere in the world
- Skype video (webcam), see who you are talking to with free video calls
- Chat with up to 100 people in group chats
- Superior sound quality – better than your regular phone
- Your calls are encrypted “end-to-end” for superior privacy
- Friends list shows you when your friends are online and ready to talk or chat
- Works with all firewall, NAT and routers – nothing to configure!
- Super-simple and easy to use
- Based on cutting edge peer-to-peer technology developed by the creators of Kazaa and Joltid
Other Important Features:
SkypeOut. You can call a real phone number from Skype. This is not free like Skype to Skype calls but is cheaper than what the call would normally cost.
SkypeIn. For people to be able to call your Skype account from a phone, you need a SkypeIn number to give to them. Receiving calls from phones doesn’t cost you anything but will charge the caller the same rate as if they were calling a real phone.
Video calls. You can make video calls for free. This enables you to see the person you are talking to and for them to see you too.
Conference calls. You and 24 other people can engage in a conference call. This makes having group discussions with staff that are located in various parts of the world much easier.
File Sharing. You can easily send files to any of your Skype contacts. There are no size limits for the file, which is a benefit over email restrictions. For security reasons, before the file transfer can begin, the recipient has to approve the transfer, thus the person has to be online for the file transfer to take place.
Instant messaging. In addition to talking with your contacts, you can type messages to them while you are having a voice conversation or if you cannot talk to them at a particular moment.
Text messaging. You can to send text messages to any cell phone in the world. The rates vary but are generally cheaper than what a text message usually costs.
Voicemail. If you want people to be able to leave you voice messages while you are on another call or offline.