Eliminate your Long Distance Phone Bill with Skype

Hi everyone! Corbin from Techboomers here again to get you started with another great Internet service: Skype! Skype is a bit different from the websites that we’ve covered so far in that the website is by-and-large just a means to get the really useful part of Skype: the Skype program, which you can download and then install on your computer. Once you do so, you can use the Skype program to communicate with other people over the Internet in various ways. Send instant text messages back and forth, or swap computer files, for example. Want to make things a little more personal? Skype lets you have a phone call with someone, or (if your computer has a “webcam” attached or built in) even a live face-to-face video chat! Eliminate your Long Distance Phone Bill with Skype
To get started with Skype, we’ll go over three basic topics: how much Skype costs, how to download and install the Skype program, and how to create a Skype account.Skype
 Is Skype free?
Skype is free to use as long as you use it to communicate with another person who is also using Skype. You can use Skype to call or send text messages to people at their home or mobile phone numbers and vice-versa, or have Skype forward calls or text messages you receive on Skype to your home or mobile phone. However, these actions cost money or “Skype Credits” (a Skype-only currency that you can purchase), and how much they cost is generally determined by where messages are coming from or going to. For a more detailed breakdown, see this tutorial on Techboomers.com: Is Skype Free?.
Download and install the Skype program for Windows
If Skype sounds like something that you want to use, you’ll have to download the program first. Go to www.skype.com and click “Get Skype” in the top-right corner. From there, choose “Computer”, and then click “Get Skype for Windows Desktop”.
A download prompt will appear; simply click “Save File” and choose where on your device you want to save the installer. Once the installer downloads, find where you saved it on your device, and open it. Here, you can choose what language Skype will display in, as well as whether or not it will automatically launch when you boot up your computer.
Click “I Agree – Next” to continue to the next page, where you can then decide whether or not you want to install Skype Click to Call. This is a service that lets you call phone numbers that you find on the Internet instantly with Skype, though it’s kind of clunky and not always reliable, so you should probably just deselect it.
Clicking “Continue” will take you to the next page, where you can decide whether or not you want to make MSN (Microsoft Networks) your home page when you start up your Internet browser. If you like your home page the way that it is, then deselect this option, and click “Continue”.
The Skype program will install, and then start automatically. Congrats! Not that far to go to start using Skype now!
(If you’d like to see a more detailed explanation of the process, illustrated by pictures, we have a How to Download and Install Skype tutorial on Techboomers.com that you can read.)
Create a Skype account
Once you have the Skype program up and running, the next step is to create a Skype account. This lets other people find and contact you on Skype, and vice-versa. With the Skype program open, click “Create an Account” at the bottom of the screen.
On the next screen, fill in your first name, last name, your email address, a copy of your email address, your country, and the language that you primarily use. Further down the page, pick a Skype Name (i.e. a name that you want to use to identify yourself with on Skype), choose a password for your account, and then type in a second copy of that password. Finally, where it says “Type the Text Above Here”, fill in the letters and/or numbers that you see in the distorted picture above to complete a security check. You can fill in any other details (such as your birthday, gender, home city, or mobile phone number) if you wish, and then click “I Agree – Continue”.
That’s it! Your Skype account is ready to go!
(Again, if you’d like more detailed instructions supported by pictures, then see our How to Create a Skype Account tutorial at Techboomers.com.)
From here, all you have to do is find other people you know who use Skype, and then add them as contacts. Then you can start swapping messages, computer files, phone calls, and even video chats over Skype… all for free! To learn how, check out the rest of our Skype tutorials on Techboomers.com!

About the Author

Steve Black

Techboomers is a free educational website that teaches older adults and others with limited computer skills how to use the most popular websites and apps on the Internet. It offers over 75 free courses composed of 1000+ video and article tutorials. A few of their most popular courses include: PayPal, LinkedIn, Instagram, eBay, and Uber.

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