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This is a seminar I presented on Skype for personal use as part of Darien Library's Spring 2010 Technology Classes Series. It covers the basics of installing and using Skype.

The presentation can also be viewed on the Darien Library website:

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  2. 2. <ul><li>What is it and what do you need? </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do? </li></ul><ul><li>Voice and video calling over the internet. </li></ul><ul><li>You need a mike (for voice) and a webcam (for video.) </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll need to download a program. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to Skype-using friends and family around the world for free. </li></ul><ul><li>Free video calling between Skype users. </li></ul><ul><li>For a fee, you can use Skype to call landline phones and cell-phones. </li></ul>Skype (
  3. 3. <ul><li>Skype Facts: </li></ul><ul><li>Skype is one of the largest international voice carriers. </li></ul><ul><li>Last year it had 521 million user accounts. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s easy to use, at home or while traveling with your laptop. </li></ul>Skype
  4. 4. <ul><li>Microphone and Webcam </li></ul><ul><li>Most new laptops have built-in mike and webcam. </li></ul><ul><li>Most desktop computers and monitors don’t have built-in webcam and mike. </li></ul><ul><li>If your computer doesn’t have them, you can buy them at any electronics store. </li></ul><ul><li>Most new webcams have a built-in mike. </li></ul><ul><li>They usually cost between $40-$150. </li></ul>Skype
  5. 5. <ul><li>Installing the Program: </li></ul><ul><li>Go to </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the “download” tab. </li></ul><ul><li>Click “download now” </li></ul><ul><li>If it does not start immediately, check for a popup blocker. (click on it, choose “download file…”) </li></ul><ul><li>A window should appear. Click “run” </li></ul><ul><li>A windows warning may appear. Click “run” </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the installer instructions. </li></ul>Skype
  6. 9. Note! If you have a popup blocker, you may see this yellow bar. Click on it and choose “download file…”
  7. 11. <ul><li>You do not need any browser highlighter. Note: This is tricky because it looks like you have to agree to the Browser Highlighter to agree to the Skype terms of use. You don’t. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just de-select the button (click where you see the green check mark and it will disappear) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click “Continue installing Skype.” </li></ul></ul>Just like signing up for an email account.
  8. 12. Write all this info down, so you don’t forget your Skype Name or password. Here’s where you agree to the terms. Special offers = junk emails (in my opinion).
  9. 17. Jane
  10. 18. <ul><li>PRIVACY: How to </li></ul><ul><li>Skype is full of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) Spammers and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2)Strangers who want to make friends. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Go to the Skype menu. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose “privacy” </li></ul><ul><li>Choose “Only allow people in my contact list to contact me.” </li></ul><ul><li>It’s ok to meet friends online, but always safeguard your personal information. </li></ul>Skype
  11. 19. The “Directory” tab lets you search for friends or phone numbers, or import your email contacts.
  12. 20. Skype <ul><li>How to Make a Call: </li></ul><ul><li>You’ve downloaded the program, created an account, and added contacts. </li></ul><ul><li>Now it’s time to make a call. </li></ul>Click on a Skype contact, and then click Call or Video call.
  13. 21. <ul><li>Video Calling: </li></ul><ul><li>Answering a Call: </li></ul>Skype <ul><li>You can choose to answer with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice only. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice and video. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline a call. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 22. <ul><li>Conference Calling: </li></ul><ul><li>25 people at a time. </li></ul><ul><li>Voice only– no video. </li></ul><ul><li>You can use other Skype features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant messaging (IM). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File sharing. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Select one of your contacts from your contact list. </li></ul><ul><li>Click “Add People” (top right) </li></ul><ul><li>Add people from your contact list. </li></ul><ul><li>Call Group. </li></ul>Skype
  15. 23. <ul><li>File Transfers: </li></ul><ul><li>Screen Sharing: </li></ul><ul><li>Right click on the person’s Skype name and choose “Send File” </li></ul><ul><li>Select the file. </li></ul><ul><li>The caller will be prompted to accept or decline. </li></ul><ul><li>Screen sharing allows your caller to see what is on your screen. </li></ul><ul><li>You can share all or part of your screen. </li></ul><ul><li>They will see the movements of your mouse. </li></ul>Skype
  16. 24. <ul><li>Troubleshooting: </li></ul><ul><li>Sound Problems: </li></ul><ul><li>Is the mike on your computer interfering with the mike on your webcam? </li></ul><ul><li>Is your computer volume on? </li></ul><ul><li>Is your Skype volume on? </li></ul>Skype <ul><li>Video Problems: </li></ul><ul><li>Is your webcam turned on? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you installed the programs that came with it? </li></ul><ul><li>Is your internet connection fast enough? </li></ul>
  17. 25. <ul><li>Paid Memberships and Skype Credits </li></ul><ul><li>You can pay-as-you-go or pay monthly to use Skype to call landline phones and cell phones. </li></ul><ul><li>You can use a membership to lower your long-distance call rates, even calling landline or cell phones from your computer. </li></ul><ul><li>You can get favorable long distance rates calling from your cell phone to landline or cell phones. </li></ul><ul><li>You can send SMS (text) messages, receive voicemail, or forward your Skype calls to a landline or cell phone. </li></ul><ul><li>You can buy a phone number so that friends with landline or cell phones can call your computer. </li></ul><ul><li>How much it costs depends on the features you choose. </li></ul>Skype: Paid Features
  18. 26. The “Shop” tab allows you to upgrade to a paid membership, or buy credits.
  19. 27. If you have a membership, or credits, you will be able to call landline or cell phones using the “Call Phones” tab.
  20. 28. Skype: Paid Features <ul><li>SkypeIn: </li></ul><ul><li>Using a phone to call a computer. </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages: You can buy an international number. </li></ul><ul><li>How much it costs depends on the features you choose. </li></ul>
  21. 29. <ul><li>A different kind of Skype </li></ul><ul><li>Skype is now available for Verizon Blackberry and Android 3G phones. </li></ul><ul><li>Apps for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. </li></ul><ul><li>Free Skype-to-Skype calls, low international rates. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses your data plan rather than wireless or text plans. </li></ul>Skype for Smartphones
  22. 30. <ul><li>Warnings: </li></ul><ul><li>Skype cannot be used to call 911 or other emergency numbers. </li></ul><ul><li>Some people have reported being dissatisfied with Skype’s customer service. </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a different login for Skype than for your other sites. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For corporate users: Don’t identify your company in your profile. </li></ul></ul>Skype
  23. 31. <ul><li>Conclusions: </li></ul><ul><li>Skype is useful and can be fun and cost effective. </li></ul><ul><li>Once the program is installed on your computer, it is easy to use. </li></ul><ul><li>You may need to ask friends and family to join. </li></ul>Skype