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Skype

Skype is very versatile software you can use to make free calls via the internet and do lots more!

The many features of this messenger, enable making video calls & conferencing and instant messaging. Quite often, you are in situations where you cannot make a voice call and can instead send on or offline messages or respond to those you find when you log in.

Skype
Skype

You can send files, share photos and share screens. I had a friend who was having some serious issues with his PC, with the browsers, i.e. Firefox & Google Chrome somehow not working and not connecting to the internet. He however could not explain the problem and I could not tell him what & where to check since he had minimal understanding of PC stuff. The best thing was to look at his PC, but he stayed 20 km away.  Good enough, Skype was not affected. Skype through the screen sharing function, accessed via the context menu if get remote access to their PC. So since HE wanted me to look at his desktop, he just had to right click on my Skype ID & select “Share screen” … After confirming he really wants to share his screen with me, this opens up on my screen & I could guide him regarding what to click, until we solved the problem.

The remote desktop function is not as good as that of TeamViewer & other similar programs, with which you can control the mouse & do other stuff remotely, but that is also not a specialty of Skype.

Regarding Skype use for communication, you can make PC to PC calls, only paying for the internet connection & often much cheaper than phone – phone calls, or if you charge your Skype account, make PC – phone calls.

Since Microsoft took over Skype, you can also use your Outlook Mail, Hotmail, etc credentials as Skype logins in their own right.

In Outlook Mail, you can also start a web-based version of Skype, which I think is still in a beta-phase as of now. To be able to use voice/video functions, you have to install some plugin.

Features summarized

  • Voicemail
  • Free video call
  • Free Skype-to-Skype calls
  • Call phones and mobiles, send SMS
  • Free instant messaging
  • Forward calls to a phone when you are offline

skype-share-screenSystem requirements

Skype is available for all of the most widely used systems, including Windows XP with SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 & 10, MAC, Android & Linux and so is usable on gadgets including desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets and more.

Download

You can get Skype from http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/
There is also a “portable” version of Skype you can download from Portableapps (not affiliated to the Skype publisher). Installed on a USB stick or other portable medium, you can simply plugin this in another gadget & use it there without installation.