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Skype Online Communication

Updated on March 28, 2016

How to Use Skype?

Skype is a free computer software application with text chat, voice chat and video chat functionality. In order to use Skype online, you need to download the application and register a free account.

Essentially, you can use this useful online communication tool to live chat using instant text messaging with other Skype users; you can talk to other users using a headset; you can use it to make phone calls to land-lines and cell phones. As well as video chat with them, if you have a webcam. You can also use this application to conference call with two or more people using the Skype.

Another cool feature of Skype is that you can screen share, that is, share your screen with others like you would during an online presentation. Skype Communication was founded in the year 2003 and was acquired by Microsoft Corporation in May 2011.

I've used Skype for several years and have seen major improvements in quality as well as new features that have been added over the years. On this web page, I will walk you through some key features, provide instructions on how to download free Skype, set up your account, show you how to this communication tool and more.

Quick Poll: Do You Use Skype?

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Skype Features

Overview of Skype Features

Key Skype Features Explained

In the introduction section above, I briefly highlighted some of the Skype features, now let's review some of the key features that this video application offers in a little more detail:

Skype Instant Messaging: allows you to instant chat online with your friends and family by typing text messages to each other. It works similar to other IM chats like MSN Messenger, Yahoo and Google Talk. When instant text chatting, you can also use emoticons, share documents and pictures.

Skype Voice Chat: if you don't like typing text messages, you can talk to your online contacts using a PC headset or a Skype headset with the Skype-to-Skype calling feature. It's like talking over the phone, except you don't pay long-distance charges.

Skype Video Chat: takes it to yet another level in communication. If you and your contacts have a webcam on your laptop or desktop, you can video chat face-to-face using this free video calling feature. Please note that for video chat, you will need a broadband internet connection.

Skype Conference Calls: allows two or more people to text chat, talk and video chat all at the same time. This is especially great if a group of people want to have a conference call. The conference calling feature allows a maximum of 25 participants plus the host to participate on the call.

Skype Screen Sharing: is a powerful feature because it allows participants to share their screen live to the other participants on the call. You can only share your screen with only one person, that is, screen sharing doesn't work when you're using the conference call or a group video call.

The above features are offered free by Skype, however, there are several other features are available for a subscription fee like long distance calling, voice mail, call forwarding, SMS and others. Watch the video below explaining these features.

Video Overview of Skype Features

Skype Set-up & Help

How to Set up a Skype Account & Download to PC?

In order to set up your Skype account and install the Skype application, follow the instructions or watch the video below:

• Click this Skype Sign-up Form link;

• Complete the sign up form (only the mandatory fields marked with "*");

• Click on the green button "I agree - Continue";

• Click this link (Skype download): Skype Download link;

• Click the "Download Now" button (free option) & follow the instructions.

Once you've completed the above, add your family and friends to you contact list (you will need their Skype Names). Now, you're all set to use Skype live chat.

Skype Setup Video Tutorial


Other Online Video Communication Tools

Apart from using Skype for many years, I've tried various types of online communication tools.

These tools include video email, video conferencing, screen-capture software, video editing applications, and others.

You can check this web page below for the details on these online communications tools that I've used.

Share your experience using Skype

Guestbook: Skype Online Communication

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I have been using Skype from quite some time. It is a great IM. Its services are quite reliable. Many people say that the audio video transmission is not good. Well, I have never had any problems using Skype.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      Haven't used this yet, but my family is prompting me to get it. Thanks for the info. Reading the comments has also helped with some questions.

    • senditondown profile image


      4 years ago from US

      We are finally living in the days of the "Jetson's" type technology. Thanks for the info AJ.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      5 years ago

      Skype is even handy for its IM capabilities and video when you need it.

    • profile image

      ellies lm 

      5 years ago

      @ajgodinho: I appreciate all the suggestions you've listed. I'm testing my connection and quality of sound tomorrow. Trying to get ready for a show happening on Tuesday. Thanks for your reply.

    • ajgodinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Godinho 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @ellies lm: Apologies for not being able to get back to sooner. I've personally not used Skype with However, there are a few things you can do to improve sound quality on Skype: use a headset rather than relying on the mic/speakers of your laptop/desktop; make sure that your firewall settings are compatible with Skype; if you're using a wireless internet connection, try using a wired one instead; and finally, try not to have too many applications open while using these two platforms. Hope you are able to find a good solution. Feel free to drop by again if you do find a suitable solution to improve the sound quality. Thanks!

    • profile image

      ellies lm 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for your great lens. Started using Skype with last week for podcasting. Still trying to tweak it for clearer sounding voices. Any suggestions?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      For better VoIP services, one must have best business phone systems and a high speed Internet so that video call's bandwidth could be managed easily. For a detailed elaboration on VoiP Phone Systems, must go ahead. Thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We have recently gotten Skype because the grand kids are 5hrs. away and we were not able to see them very often. Enter Skype, we can now see them as often as we like.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent information. I didn't like Skype a few years ago because the interface was very poor compared with MSN, but when MSN started to have a lot of problems , we switched to Skype and most of the time it's great. My only complaint is that the program takes a lot of memory, and sometimes my laptop groans as a result, but it helps us keep in touch with my daughters in Florida, family in New Zealand, and my wife's daughter in South Africa - for free too! A useful guide, blessed.

    • ajgodinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Hi Collette, good to see you made it on Skype...just added you and we'll touch base soon. Let me know if you need any help. I will give email you my Twitter URL, not on Digg yet. Stay blessed! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Anthony I finally made it here I'm also looking for your twitter and digg so I can follow you but going back up to the top to have a good read

    • ajgodinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Lee Hansen: Hope you managed to resolve the issue of the video driver to get Skype up and running. Video calling is indeed awesome and I enjoy using it with my family and friends. Looks like you have an early user of video technology in your granddaughter. Thanks for the blessing my dear! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      this lens has provided good information skype online communication i like this post.

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 

      7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      I first used Skype last year to make a phone call and was intriqued with the technology. This lens is an excellent information resource guide for anyone who is interested in learning more about Skype using the helpful liks provided.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great start up guide and explanation! Make sure you have enough bandwidth pripr using Skype.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      7 years ago from Vermont

      I'm a relatively new Skype user. I ran into problems with a new laptop recently when I downloaded Skype. It immediately updated but my computer needed a video driver update. It took 2 months to get that update ... now we're working fine again. I do love being able to video call family and friends! My granddaughter is already a Skype user and she's not yet 2 years old. Blessed ...

    • bead at home mom profile image

      Teri Hansen 

      7 years ago

      I'm a user of Skype and love the new means to talk more. Thanks for the great and helpful info!

    • jethrosas profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      I haven't used Skype yet but I will If I got a chance. I used yahoo messenger, msn messenger, google talk and aim before. Anyway, thanks for sharing this lens. It will be a big help to those who are looking for free chat application that they can use in everyday lives. Cheers! ^_^

    • Krafick profile image


      7 years ago

      I use it regularly to communicate with my children in New Zealand when I'm in Mauritius. Rafick

    • ajgodinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Skype is cool indeed! I've used it for several years and use it for long-distance calling as well - great communication tool to use...thanks for your feedback!

    • ajgodinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @JanieceTobey: You're welcome, Janiece! Skype has many features and one that I like most is the Screen Share.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      My husband's sister has skype and loves it. I am very interested in it but wonder what will happen now that microsoft has acquired it. Great article.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Shucks, Skype is totally cool and a Great way to keep in touch with Long Distant or International Friends and/or Family!!

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      7 years ago

      I use Skype already, but learned some new things about it from your lens! Thanks!

    • ajgodinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Redneck Lady Luck: Thanks for your input...I think with Microsoft acquiring there will definitely be some changes. Overall, I hope the platform and offering will get better. I've enjoyed using it for years now.

    • ajgodinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @AuthorNormaBudden: LOL yeah, always learning, but Skype I've used for several years now and thought it was time to share it via a lens...thanks for stopping by! :)

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image


      7 years ago

      Let me ask you something: is there anything you are NOT involved in, when it comes to the latest technological advances or do you make it your mission to learn everything there is to know? :)

      I learn so much from you. Keep it coming. I wonder what I will learn next...:)

    • Morticella LM profile image

      Morticella LM 

      7 years ago

      Nice lens ;p


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