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  What is VoIP

Skype at Home

Someone to speak to

It goes without saying that you need someone to speak to for Skype to be of any use. That might not sound quite as silly as it does because there is a catch if you want to use Skype for FREE (or any other FREE softphone service).

The people you want to speak to must also be using Skype for you to talk to them, the different softphone applications such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Skype and Google Talk are not compatible with each other which means you can't use Yahoo to talk to a Skype user or a Skype user can't talk to a Google Talk user. You can of course have all the different applications installed if you wanted.

So the first thing you need to do is contact the people you will want to speak to and get them to sign up and install the same softphone service as you - in this case Skype. Choose a suitable username and let each other know what it is and then add each other to your contacts list.

You are now ready to speak to each other by simply highlighting the contact from your list and then clicking on the green telephone handset icon. Now prepare to be hooked!

If you are a billy no mates but still want to try out the service you can still make a VoIP call by using Skypes 'Test Call' feature. It is probably worthwhile doing this anyway just to make sure your soundcard settings are correct. Simply open your Skype window, go to Help > Getting Started and select Make a Test Call. Job done.

Other Skype services

Skype doesn't stop at being a free softphone application though, it has a few more strings to it's bow.

Instant text messenger

Conference calls


SkypeIn (get a telephone number for people to call you on)

SkypeOut (call landline phones)

With ebay just buying Skype you can bet your bottom dollar that it will also be integrated into the ebay marketplace.

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