Skype: Make Regular or Video Phone Calls Anywhere in the World Free!
Free Phone Calls
(Note: The writer of this article has no affiliation with Skype or it's products. Neither do any of his relatives, and there are no financial considerations between any of them for the writing of this article.)
It wasn't very long ago we were watching George Jetson receive harassing video phone calls from his boss, Mr. Spacely. We've seen it in countless science fiction films. We knew that it would be reality some day, but what we couldn't have known, what our minds could not have fathomed, was that it would be free of charge. Absolutely, no-strings-attached free. Skype is here.
Most people think of Skype as video calls only, and who wants the other party to see you sitting there in your jammies, mussed up hair, and your 10 AM cocktail in your hand. But Skype can be used for regular phone calls or video calls easily, and you can make and receive calls from anywhere in the world, providing the other party has Skype too. Oprah swears by it.
What's Free and What's Not
So if it's free, how does Skype make money? Simple. Only some services are free. There are upgrades—using your Skype to call land phones, for example—available for a nominal charge. In addition, Skype sells a variety of accessories such as headsets and webcams. Below are the details of what's free and what costs money.
Free Skype Services
- Make or receive phone calls anywhere in the world.
- Make or receive video phone calls anywhere in the world.
- Transfer calls to people on Skype.
- Instant Messaging and Group IM's.
- Conference calls.
- Forward calls to people on Skype.
Skype Services for an additional charge.
- Call land and mobile phones.
- Receive calls from land and mobile phones with an online number.
- Send and receive voice mails.
- Skype to go number.
- Forward calls to phones.
- Send SMS (text) message.
- Transfer calls to land phones and mobile.
Some of these services are charged on a per use basis, and others are covered as part of your subscription plan. See the Skype website for rates and subscription levels.
How to Get Started on Skype
It's very easy to get started. Simply download Skype from their website and you're pretty much ready to go. While you can use the built-in microphone on your computer and your computer’s sound card (if it is equipped with one,) it is worthwhile to invest in a headset for superior quality. Very nice ones are available for less than $20.00. If you are planning on making video calls, you will need a webcam, which are readily available at reasonable prices.
Once you have downloaded the program, you will choose your Skype username, which is your Skype number and what others use to call you. You may also add anyone else's username to your call list. If you don't know their username, use the Skype search window to find it. You can also test your headset to confirm that the microphone and headphones are working properly. You may do this as many times as you like.
Amazon Skype Phone Adaptors
Easy to Use
Using Skype to make and receive phone calls couldn't be easier. To make a call, simply select the party you wish to call and click on the “call” button. When you receive a call, it will ring just like a regular phone. Your caller ID will tell you who is calling. To answer, simply click on “Answer.” If you are not online or choose not to answer, the caller can leave a text message. The next time you open Skype, it will tell you who's calls you have missed.
There are phones made which can be used either as a cell phone or a Skype phone. These allow you to free yourself from your computer while still making and receiving Skype calls. You can use your regular cell phone however with a simple USB adapter.
So say goodbye to those expensive long distance and over-seas phone calls. Now you can call your relatives, friends, and business contacts any place in the world, anytime night or day, and all for free. I have met George Jetson and he is us.
To download Skype and get more information, visit the Skype website here.
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