What is it? Skype is software which allows you to call other computer users who also have Skype installed for audio and/or video chats, for free. Skype also allows you to call landline and cell phones from your computer, for a fee.
How do you get it? You can download Skype at www.skype.com under the GET SKYPE heading. www.skype.com The Skype program is free.
Do you need a Skype account? Yes, you need a free Skype account.
What equipment do you need? You need a microphone and speakers. A headset is optional but is highly recommended as it cuts down on feedback and background noises. If you want to use video, you also need a webcam.
Once Skype is installed, how do you set up the audio and video? Go to the TOOLS menu, then OPTIONS:
On the OPTIONS window, on the left side, click on AUDIO SETTINGS.
On the right side of the AUDIO SETTINGS window, use the drop down menus to choose your audio input device (microphone, webcam microphone, headset microphone, etc.) and your output device (computer speakers, headphone speakers, etc.). Make sure you click SAVE when done.
Can you talk/video with more than one person at a time? You can add people to an audio call (conferencing) by clicking to call the first person, then clicking on the + sign, then adding people. You can have conference video chats only if you purchase a plan.
If I want to call phones or have video conferencing, is it expensive?