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I am working in a company which is a distributor. So we also have some agents which are travelling around the country to visit customers. Every week are our agents for one day at home to do their home-office stuff. So mostly they're also calling us at the office and that's not happening seldom. As our boss have noticed that on the bills from the phone company and wanted to change something.
As our boss is a kind of technic and computer freak, so he was trying out some different software about internet telephony and Skype he found very interesting. He tested that for some time and suddenly our agents had an adsl broadband internet connection and we in the office also got suddenly headsets and that programme called "Skype" installed on the computer.
That happened around a half year ago and some days later I've also installed that program in my computer coz it is really great. Why? You will find the answers in my review about of Skype.
WHAT'S SKYPE? ********************** Skype is a program for internet telephony. To tell in short words: Skype turns your pc into of a phone.
But Skype is not only a program to make phonecalls through the net over a peer-to-peer connection (P2P - pc to pc), it also allows to use it like as an instant messenger with a buddy list and it is even possible to do calls from the internet to a real phone when using the SkypeOut mode which by the way is not free of charges - but the rest of the program is free, means no charges for the use and the clue: no advertisement, too.
OVERVIEW OF SKYPE *************************** Everyone who wants to use Skype have to register to an user account first. The registering can be made during the installation of the programme and is free of charges. By my experience the amount of spam have also not grown up in my mailbox since I registered there.
By registering you are getting your unique username by your choice. And in your profile you can make some changes about the appearance at Skype - to be harder or easier to find there. As same as at some other ordinary messenger software you're identified with your username and the details of your profile. So you can get added (or blocked) by anyone who likes or dislikes you. At the pulldown-menu "file" you will be able to make changes on your details whenever you want. And in the options you can make some changes (i.e. to let the loudspeakers ring even when the headphone is connected).
Now about the pages at Skype which helps you using Skype a lot easier than by the pulldown menus.
- START Here at Start you're getting a short overview about of your status
Pictures of Skype.com
That's the start page of Skype (unfortunately I prefer German, hehe)
i.e. missing calls when you've been online but not at the desk (or just not picking up the Skype-phone), it's also showing the amount of online users which are in your buddylist, and also it shows you a little information about your balance of your SkypeOut account (which I guess less people will really use).- DIAL At the page DIAL you can use SkypeOut. This is a part of the program which is not free of charges. By credit card you will be able to call regular phones or mobile phones which aren't connected with the internet. The billing is quite ok, i.e. a call to Australia costs in the moment 0,02 Euro incl. tax (mobile 0,19 Euro). The rates are always changing, so always take a look at the website. SkypeOut only works prepaid - means you have to buy a credit first. A 10 Euro credit you can buy at the website - accepted ar Visa, MasterCard or Diners Club credit cards. Also accepted is moneybookers which is almost the same like as paypal.
- CALL LIST Whenever you wonder that your SkypeOut amount is empty then here you can check the list about every kind of call - incoming as same as outgoing and also you can sort it. So you always know when you made a call. But you also can delete the whole log.
- CONTACTS In the contact list you can see all the buddies which you've added. Some buddies will appear with a question mark just means that they haven't been online since you added them. Offline users are having a green sign with a check mark while offline users have gray sign with an X. When somebody is online you can just double click him/her from the buddylist or click once and use the green symbol at the bottom with the telephone receiver to start a call. You'll hear it ringing and to hang up you use the red symbol beside.
If you mark someone in your buddylist with the right mouse button, then you can choose also some more things. Or just mark someone and use the symbols above the buddy list. When you move your mouse over it then you can also get an information after a short time what each symbol means.
- CONFERENCE CALL Here you can add up to 4 buddies and you can chat with them by voice in Skype over the internet! It is very easy and also interesting. I've tried that once and it was even running perfect.
- USER SEARCH You can easily search for users at Skype with the magnifiying glass symbol. Just type in a name and it will show you some users with that name and you can chat with them or just add them. Just one bad thing about: It only shows people which have been online in the passed 48 hours. If someone haven't been online for longer it won't appear in the list. Some people may want to search for a chat partner by details like as country, age, or gender ... no problem! It's possible to do also a more detailled search. People which have the "Skype Me" Symbol on are people which are free to talk with anyone.
IS IT WORTH TO DOWNLOAD SKYPE? ********************************************** Yes, of course! I am using it already for several months to chat with that by voice with some pals all over the world. Even with China I can get a great connection. The sound quality of Skype is really absolutely brilliant! You can hear everything with it - even more than when you call someone with an ordinary telephone. I've got often asked "What did you do now?" or "Do you have a fountain in your room?" when someone heard my aquarium which really isn't loud. Compared with other voice chat systems i.e. Yahoo Messenger you will never get the sound quality as you get at Skype!
I must be honest, I have never tried SkypeOut. For me it is enough when I can talk with my buddies just over Skype through the internet. The rates for calls by SkypeOut are sounding really fair and as it runs with prepaid credits so you also can have a good overview over your costs and so will not getting shocked once to get a very high bill. That's not bad! But about the sound quality from Skype to regular phone I can't tell any values of experience.
Also I have tested Skype by playing some online games beside. I don't know if it is because of the games use some same ports as Skype does but some online games just interrupt the connection (the game isn't crashing!). That happens i.e. at Need for Speed Underground and Battlefield 1942. But at Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and its mods it is working perfect and even you can use the integrated voice-communication in-game during you chat by Skype.
One bad thing is that when you are getting called while you're playing a game. At some games it is no problem, at some games it will exit the game and at some other games it will just send you to the desktop to pick up the phone. So when playing games it is better to switch it off except when you use it as teamtalk.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO USE SKYPE ******************************************** I recommend a broadband internet connection. Even when Skype tells that you can use Skype also with a 33.6 kb Modem so I made the experience that the chats with such people gets often interrupted. The best quality is always to use a broadband connection (i.e. ADSL, SDSL, cable ...). I'm having a 1000 kb ADSL connection, also used it a long time with a 768 kb ADSL connection - it worked always fine for me! My current version of the program is 188.8.131.52
Skype is available for following operating systems: - Windows 2000 or XP - Mac OS X Version 10.3 or higher - Linux (SuSe 9, Mandrake 9, Fedora Core 2, Qt3.1 or higher) - Windows Pocket PC 2003 (400 MHz XScale processor and activied WiFi neccessary)
Because I guess that the most people will use a computer with Windows so here the minimum system requirements for Windows 2000/XP: - CPU of at least 400 MHz - memory at least 128 MB RAM - at least 15 MB space on your harddisk
Of course you also need a soundcard, a microphone, loudspeakers and a fast internet connection to use Skype. Skype also can use USB headsets. The good thing about that is that you needn't to change your system-settings about the sound-system then. Means: you want to play games or listen to MP3 music further by your loudspeakers but want to use your USB headset for Skype only. Just check the options in Skype and you can tell Skype to use the USB headset. It's so easy!
WHERE CAN I GET SKYPE? ********************************** Skype is free of charges and you can easily download it at skype.com. At that website you also can find more information about the program.
MY RESULT **************** Previously I was using Yahoo Messenger to do voice chats, sometimes also by ICQ. But it was never bringing me the quality which Skype brings to me. I can recommend Skype really to everyone and it is really fun to chat by voice and let you feel the people are just standing beside you ... it's like you even can hear them breathing ;o)
Also very good is that the software engineers promise that it is no spyware, adware or malware. And also I can confirm it - up to now I have not got any spam mail which I haven't got before.
Very interesting I find Skype also because you can use it also for instant messages without voice, also you can send files (but I think I've the wrong setting for the ports-forwarding on my dsl-router because the file transfer is really slow on my machine). That makes Skype to be a real cool software which makes other messengers needsless - provided that your friends will also use Skype.
I like Skype also because it is one of very less chat clients which run without any advertisement. Not even a start page with advertisement is opening. That program is really cool and worth to download it!
The only thing what should get improved is the user search. People which aren't online for more than 48 hours will disappear in the user search. And also when you add someone who isn't online will never know that you tried to add him/her unless both will be online in same time.
Anyway, Skype is highly recommended!
PS: I want to excuse when my English is maybe sometimes a bit hard to understand. I am not speaking English as native speaker so I do hope to get your understanding ;o) Thanks a lot!