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Skype

4.166665
Average: 4.2 (6 votes)

Skype

netbuddies

The original free instant messaging, video conferencing and internet phone tool, usable on desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, and all for free. There is a premium version for a small monthly subscription that allows video conference calls and a few other fringe benefits, including calls to landlines in a single country.

Simply sign up for the service and download the software (for computers) or app (for phones and tablets), then find your contacts to begin communicating with them.

Benefits

- Free version has comprehensive features.
- Usable on most portable devices that can connect to the internet.
- Simple to use and easy to learn.
- You can send files and even share your screen with someone.

Considerations

- The interface varies across different devices and operating systems, which can be confusing.
- Call quality depends on the bandwidth of your internet connection, so don't expect HD TV quality or CD quality sound.
- You can call landlines anywhere in the world for a few pence per minute, but calls to mobiles may be quite expensive. You need to buy phone credit in advance.

Comments

traceyfrancis1 NewLink Project Ltd work's on out-reach projects in local communities and Skype is very popular with our older learners, enabling them to keep in contact with loved one's that are away from home :)
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 15:07
josephinewhiteford Skype is easy to use and free...most the time. I've expeirecned reception difficulties but all in all its an easy way to communicate
Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 11:52
Richard Wall We have also encountered reception issues in some areas, and in our preamble to clients offer them a plan B should the link fail..........which thankfully hasn't happened to date!.

We are also experimenting with google hangouts courtesy of a local school who have developed it as an impressive communications vehicle linking parents staff and pupils. The picture quality for the advice session we ran with them was excellent.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 12:22
netbuddies Richard's comment about hard to reach communities rings bells with us. We are in rural Somerset where communication is difficult and there are few large centres of population. Recently we started discussing Skype as a supplement to befriending services, but the availability of a good internet connection (via 3G if it exists!) is a major problem, but still worth pursuing. We're also cooperating on a pilot project to take Skype into care homes. I'm trying to get some interest from Job Centres to allow people on JSA to talk to their adviser via Skype, and 'sign on' virtually, but the 'system' seems pretty inflexible and not open to new ideas or technology.
Friday, February 22, 2013 - 15:00
Richard Wall We are trialling the use of skype as an advice channel into hard to reach communities . Results to date have been so encouraging that we have incorporated its use into our plans for 2013/14. Providing weekly outreach is expensive for us,and appointments are not always kept. A successful skype channel overcomes this problem and opens up our potential reach into communities we have not been able to serve properly so far.
Friday, February 22, 2013 - 09:01
marytaylor Most of the learners attending the Centre move on to using Skype to call friends & relatives for free. Excellent tool!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 19:20