Skype is a little program for making free calls over the internet to anyone else who also has Skype. It’s free and easy to download and use, and works with most computers. Now it also supports video conferencing over the net.
Skype is a proprietary peer-to-peer Internet telephony (VoIP) network, founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, the creators of KaZaA and competing against established open VoIP protocols like SIP, IAX, or H.323. The Skype Group is headquartered in Luxembourg with offices also in London and Tallinn. The system has a reputation for working across different types of network connections (including firewalls and NAT) because voice packets are routed by the combined users of the free desktop software application. Skype users can speak to other Skype users for free. Skype also has paid services allowing users to call traditional telephone numbers (SkypeOut), receive calls from traditional phones (SkypeIn), and receive voicemail messages.
- SkypeOut allows Skype users to call traditional telephone numbers
- SkypeIn (beta) allows Skype users to receive calls on their computers dialed by regular phone subscribers
- Skype Voicemail allows callers to leave voice-mail messages for Skype users who are indisposed
- Skype supports group text chat with an interface similar to IRC with 150 People
- Skype Me has opened up a wellspring of people who want to communicate with people from other countries
- Skype 2.0 (and above) supports videoconferencing