Skype - The Revolutionary Way For People To Keep In Touch via Their Computer For A Fraction Of The Cost Of Conventional Telephone Calls
Skype has been providing its online communication service since 2004 and latest figures show that there are around 50 million international registered users and a staggering 150,000 new people are joining every day. Their motto is "We’d like to do for telephones what e-mail did to the post" and having used the service myself for the past few months I believe that Skype is already having a major effect on the global telecommunications industry.
So how does it work?
Well by downloading a small piece of free software from the Skype web site you will then be able to make and receive calls over the Internet to other users "SkypeIn" or to any landline phone anywhere in the world "SkypeOut".
Better still if you have a broadband connection then you can "SkypeIn" and make and receive calls to another user and chat for as long as you like completely FREE of charge!.
In addition to the software you will need a microphone and speakers or headset with a microphone to plug into your computer.
Now I do have one piece of advice on this subject.
If you buy a headset it is a good idea to have this plugged into a double jack point along with your external speakers. The reason for this is that when someone calls you the ring tone comes via your computer and so if you just have the headset plugged in you will not hear the ringing - unless of course you are wearing the headset!
You can buy a special type of Skype phone but this is not necessary.
The quality of the sound is excellent, in fact I find it is often better quality than when using a regular DECT phone.
The system also has some nice features for keeping a log of all your calls made, received and even those calls that you missed. There is a contact list that even allows you to see who’s on-line and available to take a call and allows you to set your own status for others to see.
Also there is the ability to use an online messaging system as an alternative to sending an e-mail and for a small charge you also have the option to add voicemail.
So What can’t Skype do?
We it is pretty comprehensive in its functionality and there are few limitations to the service but the most important thing to note is that you will not be able to make emergency (911, 999, 112, 211) calls.
Another important thing to note is that when you make a call to a landline or "SkypeOut" you will start paying for the call the moment the phone at the other end starts ringing and you will be charged something even if the person at the other end doesn't answer. Even so with such a low call charge rate you will still be saving money. In addition all SkypeOut calls are charged by the second which has become widely recognized as the fairest way of charging for telephone calls.
So whether you are living in Spain permanently or for part of the year or just visiting keeping in touch has never been easier or cheaper. Once you have set up your account you can use it wherever there is access to the Internet, be that at home, in a hotel or from an Internet cafe.
To make and receive calls to ordinary phones with your computer visit the Skype web site for more information and details on how to set up your account.