ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Skype: How to Use It

Updated on September 7, 2009

I’d start by automatically assuming everyone knows what Skype is – but many people don’t. Therefore, a little background info for those of you living under a rock. (I was one of you until just last week!) Well, ok, I’d heard of Skype prior to that, but I’d never used it. And I certainly had no idea just how varied the services they offer are. After a little searching, I must confess I’m feeling a little ridiculous that I’ve only just installed the program last week.

Skype is, basically, a way to call anyone in the world – for free.

Anyone who has a computer, or Skype-capable phone, that is. So, yeah, it might not work if your family are nomads in the Mojave. Otherwise, you could probably manage it.

How do I get it?

You go to and download it. It took a few minutes to install on my iMac, and as soon as I registered a call-name, it was ready to go. It was that simple. Seriously.

What do I have to pay for?

Nothing! It’s FREE to create a call name, and free to call anyone else with Skype. No hidden charges, no expiration dates. Just free.

Do I need a microphone and headset?

Possibly. My iMac came with a built-in mic and built-in speakers and that’s all I use. If your computer or phone is already equipped for this, you needn’t buy anything either. If you do need a mic and headset – or if you simply just want one – you can buy one from your local electronics store for cheap.

How do I make a call?

You just log into Skype, click on the contact you want to call, and press the call button. It will then ring them – like a phone – and they can answer. Just like a real phone, really.

This is too weird, I prefer a phone.

Guess what? They sell USB phones now. You can get one for cheap from the electronics store, take it home, connect it to your USB port, and voila. Or, you could buy a Skype-enabled cordless phone handset, which will divert calls to something like a cordless phone. So don’t let the mic/headset thing put you off.

Does it sound strange, talking through a computer?

I’m sure the quality of your speakers will have something to do with it, but I can honestly tell you it sounds very phone-like on my Mac.

What else can I do for free with Skype?

You can cam-call. Yeah, all you need is the camera. Just select the option and you’re ready to go. You can also instant message. Not sure why this would be preferable, though. Unless, of course, you’re at work and don’t want the boss to know you’re not working!

By now you’ve realized Skype is pretty cool. It may not be a necessity in the US, where local calls are free, but over here in Europe, they aren’t. You pay every time you call someone, unless you’re dialing an 800 number. And you pay by the minute, which makes Skype a Godsend. It’s particularly fantastic when making naughty phone calls to another country – free calls mean you can take your time and have a proper conversation.

God bless you, Skype!


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)