Note: Under our download button you will get the latest Skype version 8, which will receive the new design that has already been implemented in the smartphone versions for a long time. Also available is the predecessor Skype 7, which offers support for Windows XP in addition to the old design:
In addition, Skype for Android is available in the Play Store:
Alternatively, you can download Skype for Android as an APK file:
Skype Portable for Windows is also available. This version does not require installation:
There is also Skype for Mac calculator and as an iOS app:
Learn more about the current Skype version in the video:
In principle, the direct connection to Skype, as well as the program itself, is Free. After the Skype Download you have nothing else to do but sign up and then search for your friends. In this case, your own user name is something like a phone number. This can be passed on in order to be accessible to others.
For individuals and even for companies, Skype is a complete solution. The numerous free program features enable telephony, chat, video calls and conference calls. For relatively low fees, Skype jumps out of the Internet and also calls landlines and mobile phones, sends SMS and acts as an answering machine with SMS forwarding.
Here’s a look at the most important Skype features:
Skype hasn’t been trapped in its own world for a long time. The company behind Skype, Microsoft, has integrated The Windows Live Messenger so that you can also use Skype to chat with your Windows Live contacts. And after connecting to Facebook, Skype even serves as a chat connection to Facebook friends.
Simple and good
The most important criteria for the worldwide distribution of Skype are the price (free), the numerous possibilities and above all the easy to use. Even inexperienced computer users can use Skype without any problems. Computer headsets now have colored connectors that fit the same-colored connectors in the PC.
Five good reasons to use Skype, we’ll introduce you in this video:
The Skype download is free and fast. Registration is free and uncomplicated. And the program interface is simple and clear. So it is clear that Skype is certainly the undisputed leader in Internet telephony for a long time to go. That’s certainly what Microsoft thought when it was going for a staggering 8.5 billion(!) US dollar Skype snatched away the rivals Facebook and Google, which also competed.
The entry into the world of Internet telephony
Skype downloads are available for every operating system. Of course for Windows, but also for Linux, Mac and even as an app for iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones! This is because all these versions of Skype use the same communication protocol. They speak virtually the same language. But for this to work worldwide, a kind of phone book has to be managed somewhere. A collection of contacts, contact details, and user names. This collection is located on the Skype servers. So to call his friend “xxyyzz559”, aka Matthias Musterkerl, certain conditions must be met. Unlike in real life, Skypers can determine who is allowed to contact them.
So this works something like this: After the Skype download, the program is installed and started. Then the new user creates a Skype account. Various private data are queried. How truthfully this is done is up to everyone. Important are the unique user name as well as email address and password. With the email address you can recover your Skype password if you have forgotten it, but at least you still know your used email address.
After the first Skype registration, it will be tested whether the technical requirements are correct. Is a headset connected – or at least a speaker and microphone? Is there even a webcam? Does everything work? If that worked, it can theoretically start. But who should be called? The contact list is empty. So we need to make contacts. If you already know Skype names of your friends, the search function will also find them. But clicking on “Add to Contacts” doesn’t help us either. Because here, privacy is still worth something, which means that you can’t call anyone who doesn’t allow it. As the number grows, Skype users have also become more “adult.” They no longer call themselves “Luzifer666” or “Karl Noname”, but use their real name.
And under that you can also find them in the search function. User “xxyyzz559” was found – but only when he confirms the contact request on his part, a direct connection is possible. So we will not continue until it has been approved. As soon as someone logs on from the contact list, Skype shares this with the main server, which then sends this fact to all connected contacts. So everyone knows that the contact is now reachable. So this is much more comfortable than in normal life. So here I know immediately whether I can reach my friend or not.
Additional features of Skype
Skype chat Skype is a communication program. With a Skype download, you not only get a Voice over IP program, but also a comfortable, simple and secure chat. This feature is called “Send Instant Message” on Skype and distinguishes between a Skype chat or a “real” SMS – but more on that later. The practical thing is that these chats are logged and can be retrieved later. Assuming you want to. And if not, this can be switched off with one click in the option settings. You can read how this works below.
The chat windows are tidy and clear. Anyone who has chatted on Facebook for a long time will appreciate it. Speaking of Facebook: If you connect your Skype to your Facebook account, all Facebook contacts are now also available on Skype. Now Skype can be used as a chat system and replaces Facebook’s chat system. You can get used to it quickly.
Video Provided you have a webcam, you can use Skype for video calling. Of course, this is the most fun when both sides can see each other. A first hardware setup takes place after the Skype download and the first login. First, the presence of a headset is checked. Then, on request, the search for a camera takes place. And if it has been correctly detected, it is now available for real-time video telephony.
These video calls are one of the free basic Skype features. Of course, the amount of data transferred is greatly increased. If you want the sound quality to stay good while you can see each other live, then it is advisable that both interlocutors are at a fast internet connection. Trying to do this via the mobile internet connection is probably rather witless.
Free conference calls Conference calls now sound so business-like, but basically that just means that a group of people can talk at the same time. Exactly what you do when you meet up with friends. So skype does it all the way online without any problems. With such a good landline phone, such conference calls often become an annoying thing and never actually work when everyone is in different places. With Skype, you simply drag your contact into a group with the mouse and then you can call that whole group. Ideal to clarify what you are wearing before going out with the girls. Or check with the guys who brings what to the party – or whom.
Of course, such Skype conference calls are also suitable for companies! In combination with a webcam, they can replace entire meetings. And everyone can stay where they have to work anyway. Once you think about it, there are hundreds of uses for such conference calls. Working together on problem solving, family reunions online, even online training and lectures are thus theoretically possible – and this is uncomplicated and free of charge. Up to 10 people can connect to Skype at the same time.
Access with Facebook or Microsoft account It is not mandatory to create a Skype account after downloading and installing Skype. The use is also possible with a Facebook account, which almost everyone now calls their own. And – after all, Skype is owned by Microsoft – a Microsoft account is also available for login.
What you can do if Skype can’t connect, we’ve described to you elsewhere.
Once the account is connected to Facebook, all Facebook contacts are also in the Skype interface. Now Skype serves as a chat system for Facebook friends and also shows us who can be reached online. Instead of having to log in to Facebook to use the tiny chat window, his Facebook chats can now bequem with Skype. The others don’t even realize that they are kind of chatted from the outside.
Real phone calls The basic functions of Internet telephony, video telephony and chatting are possible immediately after the Skype download and registration and permanently free of charge. In fact, Skype also offers the function of calling real phones and mobile phones or sending real text messages. In a way, the leap from the Internet is made. And at this moment, using Skype costs money. Skype works well wherever both sides have a stable Internet connection. And it’s worth it where you want to call a normal phone anywhere in the world.
For example, you can call the US for about 2.6 US cents for one minute. For a telephone call to Mallorca, only 2.2 cents are charged. Skype is also a way to call your internetless friends at the hotel at low cost on holiday. If the Skype user completes a subscription, the fees will be significantly cheaper. For this purpose, you have to buy a Skype Credit, which is then connected to the Skype account worldwide and is available everywhere. This credit can be used for calls to landlines, mobile phones and also to send SMS.
These “top-ups” can be paid internationally with the most common payment services, such as Paypal, direct debit, Giropay or credit cards. The amounts are shown with VAT and must be declared as telephone costs for tax purposes. So Skype is worth it for companies that need to make regular international calls. With Skype Manager, you can even manage a company balance and assign your own credit quota to different participants.
Skype as an answering machine A Skype feature is called voicemail. This feature is free to unlock and after that Skype works like an AB. If a call occurs during the absence, Skype plays a message and records the following call. Once you’re back in place, you can sign in to Skype and listen to the messages you’ve received. There is even the option to convert these voice messages online from Skype and have them sent as SMS text. However, this feature is no longer free.
Transfer A useful skill of Skype is the direct file transfer between two participants. Images, documents, any kind of data is transported quickly from A to B. In particular, Skype has the ability to send files of any size. For many email accounts, especially if they are free, there is a limit. In the worst case, this is less than one megabyte. Ten megabytes are already good – but often far too little. Larger PDF files, for example, which are based on scanned documents, are usually not available to the recipient with your mail account. Here, Skype is refreshingly uncomplicated. Simply select and send the recipient and the desired data. You can immediately see what has arrived and even get the reaction of the recipient.
Skype and security
Security has always been a big topic of discussion on Skype. In general, all data transmissions, whether telephone calls or chats, are encrypted. No one can say exactly how good this encryption is. It is now clear that encryption is good enough to cause significant problems for the police. On the other hand, there have been reports of cases where the police were able to intercept Skype conversations. At the same time, however, other agencies warn against using Skype in a sensitive corporate environment. However, this may generally apply to any type of data transfer on the Internet. Really secret documents should be left out of the net. But for us normal mortals, it means that on the one hand no one wants to listen to our conversations and on the other hand it would probably not be so bad.
Tips for Skype
Link to Facebook or Microsoft account If you decide after the Skype download not to create your own account with Skype, a login is also possible with your own Facebook account. However, Skype demands quite a lot of rights from Facebook here. And although there is an option to opt out, it doesn’t work properly. Without these access rights, Skype will not connect to Facebook access. Here’s a little trick to get some privacy back: Grant the rights, but in visibility settings, select that only you can see what Skype is doing in your Facebook.
On the subject: Secret Skype smileys: Use hidden emoticons and icons
Connect to your own phone number Skype can be linked to a phone number. This service is free of charge and greatly increases the seriousness of the company’s use! After confirming your own number, a called landline or mobile phone connection will receive this number. So it looks like you’re calling from his phone. This is especially useful if you do not reach your interlocutor. Then at least he knows where to call back.
Delete chat log There is hardly anything more intimate in the internet world than chats. A direct conversation, but you don’t have to look each other in the eye. In hindsight, you might even turn red if you read all this again. And if someone else would let it – not to think. By default, Skype stores all these chats in connection with the contact as so-called conversations. And fortunately for all of us, in the Menu Actions / Options is the possibility to turn that off.
Under “Privacy” there is a menu item here, where you can save these chat logs either for a certain time, for always or not at all. This may erase reminders – but also evidence.
Skype portable There is also a portable Skype version. You don’t have to install them separately and can start them directly from a USB stick. This means that you always have “your Skype” with you and – if you also carry your headset – can immediately “skype” wherever you come to an Internet PC.
Boost Skype with apps With the help of so-called apps, Skype can still be upgraded. In its own directory, Skype lists all the apps and you can be sure that they have been thoroughly examined and can be easily integrated. For example, there are apps that can be used to save Skype calls. Although this is not legal in Germany, for example, without prior notice, it can serve as a reminder aid, for example. What should I do again – and when? With another app you can control a remote PC. Ideal for support tasks, for example, or when Grandma can’t find the right folders again. With these apps, an already powerful communication machine becomes a useful everyday tool.
Multiple Skype accounts It may be appropriate to create multiple Skype accounts. One for business contacts and a private for friends and family. For this, however, you need different e-mail addresses. Thanks to free services such as Gmail or Microsoft Live, this is no problem. In doing so, care should be taken to at least feed the business account with reasonable data. Even more embarrassing than an email address you got when you were 12 is a Skype username for the regular table round, which you should pass on to a business partner. Skype Wifi Skype Wifi is reportedly available at more than one million hotspots worldwide.
In simple terms, this means that Skype users with a credit can surf the Internet through these access points. Depending on where you are, fees of between 10 and 15 cents per minute will be charged. This is not quite cheap, but it offers the full Wi-Fi speed of the accesses – compared to the often agonizingly slow access via the mobile network. Skype Premium
Account If you use Skype more than just for a few holiday calls and some chat, then maybe a so-called premium account is actually worth it. For just under 7 euros per month (or 3.49 euros if you pay one year in advance – plus VAT each) you can make group video calls (for meetings), no longer see advertisements, get live support and, above all, can call unlimited to a country of free choice. In the US, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong, this even applies to landlines and mobile phone connections.
In the other countries, after all, for all landline numbers. This extends to pretty much the whole of the EU, but also to some Russian cities, countries in Asia and South America, and Switzerland.
On the subject: Secret Skype smileys: Use hidden emoticons and icons
Requirements for using Skype
The Skype download is free. The creation of an account also. Even the use of the most important basic functions is free of charge. But the program expects a certain basic hardware equipment on the part of its user. Skype is an Internet telephony program. In the simplest case, both participants connected a microphone and boxes to the PC. It gets more comfortable with a headset. A sound card, corresponding connectors and a headphone with microphone should be the minimum with which one immerses oneinto the world of voice over IP. In case of need, however, it is also possible with the built-in components of a notebook.
And if you want it quite comfortablyl, then there are even extra Skype phones, with which you can book into any available Wi-Fi and then use your own Skype connection. However, this loses some of its importance in the days of smartphones and table computers. Thanks to mobile devices such as smartphones, iPads and co., even video telephony is possible with the simplest means. Skype itself offers a shop where you can buy a whole range of accessories- such as headsets. But as a rule, you will find it cheaper at the usual large online shops. For just under 10 euros, you can find very useful branded devices with which not much can be done wrong.
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