An Introduction to Skype

You may be asking yourself, What is Skype?  Skype is a free online service that allows you to talk and see family or friends anywhere in the world or send instant messages through the internet so long as they are also connected to Skype.  For those not familiar with it, this article is for you.

How do I set it up?  You will need a computer, headset with microphone, and internet connection.  Once you have these in place follow the steps below:

  1. Download Skype.  Get on the internet and download Skype here.  It will install on your computer and guide you through the process with step-by-step instructions.  Follow them carefully.
  2. Sign up / Join Skype.  Once downloaded you will need to sign up and Join Skype here.  This allows you to create an account. You will enter a username and password which is needed in order to “login” and gain access to Skype’s features.  The username will become your “Skype Name” so make sure it is one you are happy with to be seen in the “skype community”.  Be sure to store your password in a safe place.  Roboform is a good password management tool.  Read our article Computer Tip on how to Secure Passwords for more information.
  3. Find Family and Friends.  If the person you want to talk to is already signed up with Skype, then you will need to exchange skype names (username) to find each other and connect.  Skype will automatically store people you connect with under the Contacts section (left-hand side).  Only give your username to people you know and never accept invitations from someone you do not know or recognize.
  4. Make the First Call.  Go to your Contacts and select the person you want to speak with.  You will see a picture (maybe?) and small bubble next to their name indicating if they are online or offline.  Hover over it to check, but usually it is shaded green if they are online or white if they are not.  If they are online put your headsets on and start away!  If you want to test it feel free to call me first.  My skype name is:
  5. No computer?  If you do not own a computer you can still use Skype.  Go to an internet cafe, ask if they have Skype, and follow steps 2-4.  Most of these internet cafes already have Skype downloaded on their computers.  If who you want to talk to is not on Skype or does not have a computer, you can still make Skype calls easily and affordably.

We hope we scratched the surface enough for you to give it a try.  If the instructions above do not make sense and or you would like to learn more, then Contact Us for some PC Training.  

David Goes has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and computer industry. He holds a Bachelors degree in MIS with cum laude designation. His expertise is in providing computer solutions that deliver business value and personal efficiency through database management, computer optimization, website design and internet marketing.