Gadgets

Skype: Transforming the Internet as Your Personal Phone Line

Image Credit: Sky for Windows Video Conference | Official Website

Being a well-known free software application, most people don’t need too much introduction of what Skype is. It has been on the scene for almost 10 years now, and it goes without saying that this application was able to transform the telecommunication industry. That’s because Skype was able to offer a cheap way to make long distance phone calls.

Features

First of all, Skype is very useful in terms of instant messaging. Not to mention that it only requires easy download and installation on a PC or laptop.

It also allows the user to send SMS to cellphones, provided that there’s enough credit, although it could come with some delay. This means that people should not rely on the instant messenger’s SMS service when it comes to important and time-sensitive messages.

Users can also take advantage of Skype’s phone call and video call features. All that they need is the application, a headset, and a webcam. The good thing about this is that calling using the IM app is free, and users can even call their friends or family on Skype, regardless of the distance.

Users will only need to pay when they are calling a landline or a mobile phone. Nevertheless, the rates are very cheap. In fact, the call rates are roughly 1 cent per minute, which can be considered as next to nothing.

These low-call rates are the reason why many people are abandoning their landlines for Skype. However, the call sound quality can vary at times, and some countries prohibit calls to emergency services on Skype. So, researching thoroughly and weighing things are important before ditching a phone in favor of this application.

The latest version of Skype comes with Facebook integration, allowing users to view their Facebook News Feed in a separate window and log-in to Facebook Chat. There’s also the Skype Wi-Fi, which lets users pay for Wi-Fi hotspot access using their credits.

Skype Premium

For the heavy users of Skype, it has a Premium version that lets them buy monthly calling minutes to a pre-chosen country, group video chat, and group screen sharing. Of course, all of these come with a price.

What’s good about this is that Skype allows a one-day temporary access so that users can “try before they buy” any of the app’s service. This is good for those who have hesitations to commit to any long-term financial arrangements.

Skype is definitely the software that everyone should have on their computer. Despite its shortcomings, it still provides handy and useful features.

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