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What is Skype Anyway?

Welcome to the post where the questions aren’t made up and the answers really do matter.

In recent posts I’ve been looking into some questions we hear often at Skype. I’ve talked about Skype status, when you can (and can’t) make video calls, and the best ways to navigate around Skype Support. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that today I’m answering another one of these questions. However, I never actually get asked this question, which is “What is Skype?” Instead I get asked lots of other questions which make it clear that some people aren’t sure what Skype actually is.

Can’t I just sign in at http://www.skype.com and use Skype?

Not quite! When you sign in to the Skype website you will see your account:

Here you can see your Skype Credit balance, your account details and other features you may be using such as Caller ID. But you won’t be able to use Skype features like calling and instant messaging. To do that, you need to get Skype on your computer, mobile or tablet, first.

Ok, so what is Skype?

Skype is software which you can get on a large number of devices that enables free voice and video calls to anyone on Skype, as well as instant messaging and great rates on calls to landlines and mobiles.

You told me what it does, you haven’t told me what it is!

Ok, you got me, I didn’t show you the actual software. The thing is, Skype will look different to you depending on the device you’re using. Thankfully there are guides on Skype Support which will show you what it looks like for you. Here are the guides for Skype on Windows desktop, Windows 8, Mac, Windows Phone 8, iPhone, Android and iPad.

Right, I got it, now where do I get it?

You can download Skype right here on our website. We’ll automatically recommend the version of Skype you need for the device you’re using, but you can also find links and downloads of Skype for other devices.

Once I’ve got it, what do I do with it?

Once you’ve downloaded Skype, you can find lots of information on how to use it on the Skype Support site or in the Skype Community. For example, if you’re using Skype for Windows desktop, we have a guide to getting started ready and waiting for you. If you’re struggling to find the answer to your question take a look at my recent tips for browsing Skype Support.

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