Popular and much-used video and chat software
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Skype is a free service that offers VoIP, voice over IP, software that allows users to connect to others worldwide through video and voice calling. Although the pricing Skype offers for some of its paid services, such as Skype Number and Skype WiFi, its free services can be more telling of the software’s overall functionality for simple calling features. One thing that weighs down this application is the fact that users have to rely on their computers and smartphones in order to make internet calls.
History of Skype
In 2003, the creators of the P2P program Kazaa, developed Skype. After switching hands of ownership a few times, Microsoft came to own the brand in 2011.
Skype is available as a software download on a variety of platforms from smartphones, to computers, and even tablets.
On the free version of Skype, you are able to send and receive instant messages, emojis, and even video and voice chat. However, if you are interested in using Skype as a phone service, please see the Skype’s Pay For Services below.
Also, Skype now offers Facebook amalgamation so you can see your Facebook news feed in within the app itself. In addition to that, Skype allows you to send SMS messages (for a fee) or call your Facebook friends, so long as they have shared their information within Facebook.
Utility and Usability of Skype
If you are looking for a basic features software program, Skype surely is not difficult to use, even for the less-technological perceptive person.
However, unless you absolutely need to use a subscription based calling plan, it is better to stick to the free service version of Skype.
Skype services also has Skype Meetings which allows anyone to join in your call, and you can share in the following features:
- PowerPoint screen sharing and collaboration
- Personalized URL that allows you to join from any device
- You can video call with up to ten people (without a subscription)
With Skype for Microsoft Office 365 you can get all the above features plus:
- Office applications such as Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, and PowerPoint
- Record your meetings
- Hold meetings with up to two-hundred and fifty people
- Use instant messaging anytime and anywhere
Skype’s Pay For Services
With Skype’s Unlimited World Plan, you can call all mobile and landlines in the following countries:
- Hong Kong SAR
- United States
- Puerto Rico
In addition to those countries, you can call landlines in fifty-five countries.
If you are not looking for an unlimited plan and only plan on making a few calls, you can also buy Skype Credit which can be used to send SMS messages and call both mobile and landlines.
Due to its low cost VoIP services, and good entry level features for free software, Skype is worth considering if you are looking for a VoIP service but have minimal needs, i.e. using it to connect with family and friends. Even though the service offers unlimited plans and bundled packages for calling minutes, both domestic and foreign, one is restricted to using the software on their mobile device or computer, (as a soft phone). The software is easy to install and makes it perfect for individuals that are less advanced in terms of technology.
- Easy to install
- Instant Messaging
- Cheap VoIP Service
- Subscription services with unlimited minutes
- Domestic and Foreign calls
- Calls to mobile numbers
- Social media integration
- Video conferencing calls
- Wifi service available
- Needs internet access
- High consumption of resources
- Added and extra features must be purchased.
- No language translation
- No call returns
- No call blocking
- No ability to call 911 or emergency services
- Lacking in tools for Skype Business
- Video function sometimes lags or has errors if the internet connection on either party’s end is not faster or strong enough