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I have been a Skype user for many years now so here's my take on this free bit of software.
Well in a nutshell Skype is a free bit of software that allows you to speak to pretty much anybody anywhere in the world, wait for it.......... for FREE!!!! Yes it won't cost you a penny. All you need and you friend need are a Skype account and off you go.
---Install and Contact adding---
You first off need to install the software. Simply go to Skype.com and you will find the softare to download from there. After you have downloaded and installed it, enter a few of your details and make yourself a Skype name. After that your set. Now all you need is to find your friends on it. Simple seach by either there email or skype name, add and your done and your friend will be on your contact list.
---Microphone and webcam test---
When you start up you will see on your contacts list there will be Skype test call. This is to test out your speakers and microphone. These are quite important as you need it to hear and speak to your friends. All you do is simply follow the steps and your done.
This is so easy a 2 year old can do it. See which one of your friends are online (it will show a green icon next to them) and double click there name. It will then connect and start ringing. If they answer you can talk all you want, if they don't you can leave them a message to call back. So simple and cool.
This I think is truly a great thing on skype. Whilst talking to your friend you can also get to see them as long as you both have webcams. This is just as simple as calling. Simply call them, when they answer simply click on your cam and it will connect and so you can lark about with your friends too. This feature I think is great as I used this many times to speak to my girlfriend when she was off at work in the caribbean so it helped :-). I would say however make sure both of you have a good connection or it will sometimes cut off completely. It has happened a few times when i was speaking to my girlfriend and ended up only calling her which wasn't so nice :-(.
Skype SMS - This is basically an instant messenger like all the others available. This is great for some people who hav skype downloaded on there phones. I have an uncle in Cyprus I can keep in contact off because of this feature.
Skype Out - This feature allows you to make calls to landline and mobiles, however this feature ISN'T free :-(. You will have to purchase some skype credits for this. The other bad part of this is that you will have a certain amount of time to use these credits up before they expire. I believe you have up to 3 months before it expires. You can purchase the credits from the website. The calls can be made anywhere that is available and it has a handy international caller id to help if you don't know the call code for the country you want to call. The call costs are available on the website. It's quite cheap.
Skype In - As well as making calls you can also receive calls to your Skype through this feature. Again this feature is not free and also has an expiry time too (3 months). With this feature Skype will give you a number so you can give to your friends so they can call you whenever you are connected to skype.
This feature allows you to forward your calls to a landline or mobile when your not online. Again you will have to pay for this feature. I can't give too much information as I haven't used this before.
As I said earlier in the review if you miss a call some can send you a voicemail so you can ring them back. This feature I have not used and thought it was free but from what I have read you have to pay for it too.
Overall I would highly recommend Skype to anyone who wants to keep in contact with distant relatives, friends and other loved ones. I have always recommended it to people who go off on work for a few months in another country so they can keep in contact like I do with my uncle and did with my girlfriend when she went off to the caribbean to work.Thank you for reading and hope you found this useful. Can akso be found in Dooyoo under the same name.