Skype - 10 steps on how to make a free Skype video call and more

Skype provides the ideal way of staying in touch with the people who matter most - whether they are living around the corner or on the other side of the world
Grandmother with her granddaughterSkype is a great way to stay in touch with family around the world

Thanks to Skype, millions of users are able to make Skype to Skype voice and video calls anywhere in the world for free. Whether you get in contact with your grandchild away travelling, or an old friend you haven’t seen in years - anyone can share magic moments over Skype.

All you need is a computer, an internet connection, speakers and microphone – built-in or separate, and a webcam. You can then use Skype to make free Skype-to-Skype video calls or voice calls over the internet.

Here is how you do it:

Step 1

Go to www.skype.com and click the ‘Get Skype’.

Step 2

Click on the green button ‘Get Skype for Windows’ or click ‘On your computer’ to download Skype if you are a Mac or Linux user.

Step 3

When the download is complete, double-click on the Setup file icon. Now follow the onscreen instructions to save the SkypeSetup.exe file.

Step 4

Then all you will need to do is run the SkypeSetup.exe file. The Skype Setup Wizard will appear and guide you through the rest of the installation.

Step 5

After the installation is complete, you can open and use Skype at any time. To Open Skype, double-click the Skype icon on your desktop or in the Start menu.

Step 6

When you first start Skype you'll be asked to set up an account. Click ‘Don't have a Skype name?’ to create an account.

Type in your name, then create a Skype username and a password. Follow the instructions from there and click ‘Sign in’ and then you are ready to start adding friends, family or colleagues as contacts.

Step 7

If the person you're calling has Skype too, you'll be able to call their PC directly at no cost. First, add them to your contacts list. To do this, click on ‘Add’ in the main Skype window and enter their Skype name, full name or email address.

Step 8

If your contact is online, click on their name and then on the green button with the icon of a telephone headset. Now all they have to do is answer your call.

For privacy, and better call quality, use a dedicated headset. You can find a selection of Skype-certified webcams and headsets in the Skype shop: http://shop.skype.com/. If you haven’t used Skype before, you can find a detailed video guide on how to make a free Skype video call by visiting Skype’s homepage at www.skype.com

Step 9

Alternatively, you can chat using typed messages. Click on a contact, and then on the blue button to send your message.

Step 10

SkypeOut can be used to make calls to landlines and mobiles. You can even use it to send text messages to mobile phones for a very small fee. To see how much a call costs, visit www.skype.com and you will see a field on the right side called “Call landlines and mobiles worldwide”. Type in the person’s country you would like to call. For more information about Skype subscriptions and the low rates click ‘More subscriptions’. You can buy Skype Credit on the same page.

Skype helps to get silver surfers online

The UK has 40 million internet users, with 30 million people using the web every day, and it has some of the world’s cheapest broadband prices. However, there are 10 million adults in the UK who have never used the internet: over a fifth of the population and the size of our five biggest cities combined.

This is why Skype has teamed up with Digital Unite and Race Online 2012 to help to remove barriers to communication and bring people together. This year, Skype employees from around the world volunteered to help new internet users get to grips with Skype in support of Silver Surfers’ Day in the UK. In the virtual call centre, silver surfers called in to discover how the internet could connect them to loved ones.

One silver surfer eager to learn more about the internet was Leonard Turner aged 84 from Port Talbot in Wales. He wanted to stay in contact with his grandson, currently travelling around New Zealand. “My grandson Steffan has been away from home for three months now and I don’t get to talk to him very often as it’s so expensive to call New Zealand. I really miss him and want to hear about his adventures, so when one of the pupils at the school told me about Skype I was excited to learn more. Arianna at Skype told me how to get started and make a video call using a webcam. I can’t wait to give it a try.”

About Skype

Skype is software that enables the world’s conversations. Millions of people use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. Everyday, people everywhere also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles. Download Skype to your computer or mobile phone at www.skype.com. You can call landlines and mobiles worldwide with Pay As You Go from just 1.2p/min or cheaper with a subscription.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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