What is Skype?

Skype is one of the most popular means of communicating on the internet. Skype uses voice over internet protocol (VOIP) to enable people to talk to each other thru their computers and/or telephones. Skype also has instant messaging options, video calling and other services. Skype is free for calls, video conferencing, and instant messaging on communications from one computer to another computer. There is a charge for calls from computer to phone or phone to computer.

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Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the some of the same people who created Kazaa the peer-to-peer file sharing software. Skype was originally “Sky peer-to-peer”. This later was abbreviated to “Skyper,” which probably would have been the name of this software had it been available. The domains for “Skyper” were not available, so the name was shortened once again to Skype.

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Skype is used by many businesses, especially for international calls. Skype can provide free calls with conferencing for users who are all on using Skype from their computers. It also offers a much lower rate for making international calls. For a low fee, a Skype user can also set up their own telephone number which allows those without a Skype account to call directly in to the business’ computer.

Calls can also be made to others who do not use Skype for a low fee. There are many features that one can use with Skype. There are many third party add on programs that can be beneficial to a business, such as call recorders, white board software for meetings for collaborative calls, fax services, and other such programs. This flexibility and low cost make Skype an ideal business phone solution.

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On a personal level, Skype can be a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends, family and loved ones. With video calls one can feel like they are right in the room, which can help eliminate the distress that missing an important family event can create. It is a wonderful way to keep in touch while keeping costs at a minimum. Talking over the computer to another Skype user is free, but if one doesn’t have a Skype account, calls to existing landlines or mobile phones are charged at a reasonable rate. Socializing is easy with Skype. One can chat via instant messaging, talk over the computer by using microphones and/or webcams. There are also games and other such items that two Skype users can use together. With Skype there are so many options and there seem to be more added every day.

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