Skype is the leading voice over IP (VoIP) application on the net. In addition to enabling people to have free Skype to Skype phone calls, it also enables people to chat via video, host conferences and even call international phones, all for free or very little money.
==> Free Skype to Skype
Have a meeting with someone from another country? One of the cheapest and easiest ways to co-ordinate this is to use Skype to Skype.
All you need to do is download the Skype application and have the other party download Skype. Today it’s very common for internet professionals to already have Skype installed.
==> Video Chat
Skype makes it easy to chat with others using video. As long as one or both of you has video, you’ll be able to record yourself as you speak and stream the video to your friend.
==> Voice and Video Conferences
Skype also makes it easy to have multi-person conferences.
These conferences can take place over a variety of mediums. Some people in the conference might just have voice, while others might have video; others might be sharing their desktop and still others are only on the chat.
The conference can be set up so that one person is streaming video to several people, while the others reply via chat.
Again, all that’s required is that everyone who’s on the conference has Skype installed. There’s no cost for using Skype for conferencing.
==> Making Inexpensive International (and Local) Calls
Calling internationally doesn’t have to cost dollars every minute. Instead, it can cost you just pennies.
Skype has relationships established with phone companies in just about every country in the world, allowing you to make cheap long-distance phone calls – all from your laptop.
If you compare the rates that Skype charges versus your phone carrier or buying a phone card, you’ll find the rates are often as much as ten times lower.
All you need to do is put a minimum of $10 into your Skype account to start using it.
==> A Local Number, Anywhere in the World
Having a Skype number has several advantages.
For one, you can forward the number to any other phone number you want. So if you’re in Hong Kong, you can still have all your Skype calls forwarded to your Hong Kong cell phone. You’ll still need to pay Skype’s long-distance call rate.
Additionally, people you’re calling will be able to identify you by the phone number you have on your caller ID.
Finally, you’ll be able to send and receive text messages – all from your computer.
These are some of the most popular features Skype offers to the small business owner. When used properly, Skype can help both reduce costs and increase communication.