The Beginner’s Guide to Skype
Dec201418

The video call app Skype has been around for more than a decade now. But just because it has existed for several years, it doesn’t mean you should be expected to know how to use it. Skype is great for keeping in touch with friends and family, and is perfect if you want to make a free call to another Skype user. You can also use it to call regular phone lines, although this service isn’t free. As well as telephone and video calls, you can send people instant messages. If people have been recommending the program to you, but you don’t know how to get started, this guide will help you set up your account and make your first call.

 

Sign Up and Download

 

First, you need to create a Skype account. Go to the Skype homepage, click on “get Skype” and then click on “join us” to start setting up your account. You can choose to sign in with your Microsoft account or Facebook account, or you can set up a new account with your name and email address. Choosing your Facebook account allows you to see your Facebook feed and contact your Facebook friends in Skype. However, this does require you to allow Skype to have access to your profile and personal information.

 

Once you have your Skype account, it’s time to download Skype. Back on the “get Skype” page, you’ll find options for different devices. You can download Skype on your desktop, mobile, tablet, home phone, TV and even games console. Let’s assume that you’re downloading Skype for your Windows computer. Click “Get Skype for Windows Desktop” and you’ll get the Skype download Windows users need. Save the file to your computer, and then open it and follow the instructions to install Skype. You’ll be asked to put in your username and password when you open the application. You’ll be asked if you want to install “Click to Call”, which lets you make instant calls from phone numbers listed on websites.

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 2.25.32 PM

Bjorn Bulthuls

 

Check Audio and Video Settings

 

Before making any calls, you need to verify that your audio and video settings are in working order. Go to “Call” and then “Video settings,” where you’ll find your options. You can check that your speakers are on – you can test this with the Skype jingle – and that your microphone is working. Verify that you have the right microphone on the dropdown menu and that your camera is on, and you can see yourself.

 

Add Contacts and Make Calls

 

Skype doesn’t work if it’s just you on your own, so you need to add your family, friends, and colleagues. You can “search address book” once you have the app open, or you can add your contacts manually with the “Add Contacts” button. Use names, Skype names and email addresses to search for people. Once you’ve got some people on your contact list, it’s easy to make a call. Use the “Call Phone” button next to a contact to make a call or “Video Call” if you want to see their face. If you want to call landlines and mobiles, you need to buy some Skype credit.