A classic instant messaging app for PCs
Skype is one of the most popular and easiest-to-use communication tools, connecting people from around the world. The program supports video conferencing, voice calls, and instant messaging. Additionally, you can use the software to send large-sized files up to 300 MB. Skype download lets you purchase additional subscriptions to call mobile phones and landlines. While the program has been a standard for group messaging and online chat, it has faced tough competition from new titles, such as Zoom, Discord, and Microsoft Teams.
Group messaging, video calls, and more
Skype has always been a popular choice to connect with friends and family on the internet. Over the years, the release of new features has turned the tool into a full-fledged communication platform for business purposes. With the expansion of services, users cut down costs on standard phone messaging and calls.
Since Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011, the program has been promoted as a feature-packed communication tool. To use Skype, you need to sign up and create a Microsoft account. If you already have one, you can use the same to sign in to Skype.
However, you'll notice that the program weighs more than competing tools like Discord and Zoom. Occasional lags may occur, and slow loading time can put some users off. Yet, the simple interface seems to balance out the drawbacks of such sorts.
How to start using Skype?
To create an account, you need to enter a few details, including an email address or mobile phone number. Once you’ve entered this information, you'll just choose a strong password to create a new Microsoft account. Before the process is complete, you also need to provide your first and last name.
The last step includes verification of your email address or phone number. While the process may seem tedious, it eliminates the chances of someone else using your Skype account. Once again, you can continue using an existing Microsoft account.
How to set up the account?
Once you’ve logged in to the video conferencing app, you can set up a new profile picture on the home screen. This is the image that will show during a chat, voice call, or video conference. It helps other people identify you easily.
Skype also provides you with a ‘Status’ section, which lets other people find out about your thoughts, profession, or basically anything you want. Most people use this feature to let others know whether they’re available or busy.
What are the features?
As mentioned earlier, Skype is a full-fledged communication tool. The latest version of the program lets you send messages, share content, and initiate video or voice calls with individuals or groups. Before you start using Skype, you only need to create an account and add contacts. You can even import contacts from various sources, including Microsoft Outlook, to save you some time.
The program displays all the features in large-sized icons. When you call someone via Skype, you can hear the iconic ringtone. Before you initiate instant messaging or video conferences, check out the status to get an idea about the other person’s availability. There’s a dot right beside the profile picture to denote the status even more conveniently. While red means busy, green implies availability.
Skype lets you send files up to 300 MB. Compared to other instant messaging and video conferencing apps, this is an excellent addition to the list of features. You can easily send images, videos, documents, mods, or game saves.
You can also use Skype in place of a standard mobile phone or landline. With the pay-as-you-go subscription model, you can recharge the account and use credits to call phones. All you need is a stable internet connection.
The program is prominently used for group messaging. It’s an excellent tool for collaboration among colleagues. However, the slow loading time is annoying at times and other alternative platforms may be worth considering.
What are the alternatives?
Although Skype is a popular communication platform, you can find a lot of options online. Depending on your usage, needs, and requirements, you can choose from simpler, more feature-loaded, and visually appealing programs.
For instance, Discord is a good choice for gamers. The application comes with in-app streaming, support for multiple servers, and a dedicated game store. It lets you use an existing server or create a new one. In the last couple of years, Discord has built a solid community, where you can interact with like-minded people.
If you’re looking to chat with friends during games or share files up to 8 MB, Discord will be a good choice. Additionally, the tool supports voice and video calls, making it an ideal choice for friendly conversations and chats.
Another program from Microsoft that has fared well in the business community is Microsoft Teams. The video conferencing app targets large enterprises and is ideal for virtual meetings. The program also boasts a wide range of features to chat, share, and collaborate.
Lastly, Zoom has grown in impressive populating to be a popular instant messaging and video conferencing app for Windows 10. The simple interface doesn’t require any technical skills and large groups of people can collaborate online. However, privacy issues may prove troublesome for some people.
With tough competition from next-gen apps like these mentioned, Skype has taken a backseat. However, if you prefer the familiar interface and easy-to-use features, Skype will not disappoint.
A decent choice for Windows computers
With almost everything happening on the internet, you need a powerful communication tool to chat, share files, and voice or video call friends and colleagues. Skype serves the purpose and provides you with all the necessities. While you can explore other programs, this one continues to be the preferred choice of most Windows users. It’s also available for Mac, iPhone, and Android devices.