Skype Class

Skyping – Video Calling for Free!

How does it work?

Skype uses a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) client to do its magic. VoIP owes its versatility to another fantastic technology, the Internet. Instead of sending signals via a PSTN network, be it analog or digital, a VoIP application usually uses SIP (a variation of the standard TCP/IP protocols) to create data packets, and sends them on the same network you use for email and web surfing.

By using data packets, the technology can be used to carry more than the standard mono voice your old telephone does; VoIP can carry text, images, live video and high quality stereo sound as well as ‘screen sharing’, depending on the speed and reliability of your internet connection.

You need a receiver: a special phone , smartphone or computer with speakers and microphone and a web cam for video chat.

VoIP is inappropriate for emergency situations since your call may appear to come from Miami or work rather than home. Also, it will not work without power or an Internet connection.

Excerpted from

Getting Started

  • Download the Skype software from or download the free app from iTunes or Android Market.
  • For your computer you may need to purchase a web cam. You might want a headset with microphone and ear piece.
  • Install the software.
  • Set up your account.
  • Test the software call the Echo/Sound test.
  • Start inviting your friends and family to be your contacts.
  • Call people!

 Helpful links Before You Buy a Webcam

Consumer Search Webcam reviews


Webb Cam reviews

PC Magazine Headset reviews -,2817,2363949,00.asp#fbid=1CHNbxblbFp

Wikihow How to buy a webcam

Why video chat?

Gmail video chat

Grandma's Guide to video chat

How to make a Skype call

How to make a Skype call 2

Skype video call on Android

Skype video call on iPhone

Troubleshooting and Help

First check the Skype support webpage

Call quality issues

Check your bandwidth or  See the speed test results I got in Florida

Check your call quality before you make the call.  Click on the person you wish to call and then on the call quality button 

call quality button




call quality2



Make sure you have the latest version of Skype and the person you're calling does too.

Close any other programs that use bandwidth or system resources: streaming music or video, internet radio (WBAA online), scanning your computer (Norton or McAfee), and stop file downloading.

Check to see if you have extra USB things plugged into your computer.  or go to the library homepage, click on Digital Resources in the upper right hand corner then click on the Computer Class Handouts at the bottom of the Reference Links menu on the right.