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What is Skype and how do I use it?

Skype is a peer-to-peer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network.This means you are able to transmit voice communications over the Internet.Skype works on all popular operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, Pocket PC and many Cell phones.It was founded in 2003 by a couple of entrepreneurs, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis.The Skype Group has since been acquired by eBay as of October 2005.

Skype is a little piece of software that makes it easy, fun and cheap to communicate with people around the world.If both you and the person you are communicating with are on Skype, it's free. This includes chatting, voice and video conferencing.Skype generates revenue by offering features such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, as well as voicemail and call forwarding. Skype is available in 27 languages and is used in almost every country around the world.

Skype is well known for its multi-person capability such as instant messaging, group chats, simple interface and it's easy to manage voice to chat switches.Some of Skype's well-known features include:

- Global User Directory: This is a giant, search-friendly phonebook of Skype users everywhere.
- Call Forward:This allows you to send your calls to up to three other Skype IDs.
- Instant Message (same as chat):With this feature, you are able to include groups of up to 50 people in one chat session.
- File transfer:This allows you to instantly send and receive big, hard-to-send files safely.
- Call logs:This keeps track of both calls and chats.
- Mobility:Skype is portable.You can log into Skype from anywhere in the world.
- Reliability:Users report great quality audio in using Skype for making video calls using a webcam, making conference calls and connecting with people on ordinary phones and cell phones.

How do I use Skype?

Just five easy steps!One of the great things about Skype is that even those that are not very computer literate can use it.

First of all, you must download the Skype Software from the internet.It comes with a handy set-up wizard that makes it simple to do.Simply do a search to find the software and follow the set-up wizard to get it started.
Secondly, you must choose a Skype name.This is the name people will use to call you on Skype and will identify you in your chats and other conversations.This can be either your own name, a nickname, or an anonymous code, whichever you prefer.

Thirdly, make a free test call.Check that your microphone and speakers are on. If using a headset, make sure you have connected it to both the microphone and the speakers.

Fourthly, find friends who use Skype.If you don't already know which friends have it, you can search the directory by name, email address, location, or other criteria to find them. You can also use the Send Contacts feature to acquire and share contacts.

Lastly, start making calls.To begin talking or chatting with any Skype contact, simply double-click on their Skype name and you are now connected.You can begin chatting at this point or select other options.

At this point, every time you want to get on Skype, just sign yourself in.If you're wanting to access your account from a PC other than your own, simply go to the Main Skype Window..........>File........>Signout............>insert you Skype username in the box..............>insert your password in the box below this.....>click Signin.Remember though, if you don't want to leave all your details on the other PC when you leave, copy what is in BOLD and RED into the address bar of Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer.It will display all the files in that folder, regardless of whether they're hidden or not.You will see a folder with the same name as your Skype username.Just delete it and all your details will be gone forever on that PC.

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