Skype is Microsoft software with functions for video conferencing, chat, file transfer and voice calls. The service also operates in the form of VoIP, in which it is possible to make a call to a common telephone, landline or cell, through a device connected to the internet. Its set of functions and the reputation of good stability make the tool a solution highly sought after by professionals, whether in companies or for those who choose to make a home office. Here's what you need to know about Skype below.
READ: 13 tools to make home office in isolation
Skype Online: learn how to use
Want to buy cell phones, TV and other discounted products? Meet Compare TechTudo
What and how Skype works
Skype is a service with versions for PC and mobile that allows you to establish conversations between contacts that have added each other. Unlike WhatsApp, the program does not connect users via cell phone number, but by a unique username created during free registration. Anyone who already has a Microsoft account, normally used to set up a Windows 10 computer, can use the same email as an identifier on Skype.
See also: Home office: see tools for working at home on the coronavirus
Home office: see tools for working at home on the coronavirus
Also unlike WhatsApp, it is possible to log in to the same Skype account on multiple devices and keep them online at the same time. The user can choose whether to appear available to his contacts, or whether to remain invisible. When you receive a call or message in the chat, you can select which device you want to answer or answer the call on.
It is also possible to configure your cell phone number to appear on the recipient's caller ID when making calls, in addition to making a video call via link, without requiring guests to create an account on the service.
I need to add people to your contact list using the name Skype Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves
Skype is available on computers, cell phones, tablets and even video game consoles. Skype for Windows Desktop is best suited for older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8. A more modern communicator application is already pre-installed on Windows 10, as long as it is updated to the latest versions. Otherwise, you can download it from the Microsoft Store. On the desktop, it is possible to use the software also on Linux and macOS, in addition to Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers through Skype Web.
On mobile, Skype brings versions for iPhone (iOS) and two for Android, the conventional and Skype Lite, aimed at more basic smartphones. There are also apps for iPad, iPod Touch, and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet. Gamers can also make video calls over the Internet using the native app for the Xbox One console.
Skype has versions for mobile, tablet, computer and browser Photo: Skype
How to create an account and start using Skype
Anyone who already has a Microsoft account can use the same email address and password to sign in to Skype as well. The credentials can also be the same as in Outlook, if the user has an email from that service, learn to recover the password.
If you do not already have an account, just visit the Microsoft registration page (login.skype.com/join) inform the requested data. At first, the site asks for a phone number to proceed, but it is possible to register only with e-mail by selecting the corresponding option in the login window.
Create a free account by phone or just using an email Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves
Main functions of Skype
In chat mode, Skype offers some of the same known messenger functions as sharing text, images, emotions and files up to 300 MB each that are available for access on all devices for up to 30 days. Other functions include sending contacts and video messages and creating a vote directly in the conversation, either in private or group chat.
By default, Skype conversations are not end-to-end encrypted, but just like Telegram, it is possible to enable a special mode that makes chat more secure. To do this, I need to click on the contact's name in the chat window and select the option Start a private conversation.
Skype has chat support for files up to 300 MB Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves
The same menu also has the function of Translated Conversation, which makes simultaneous translation of the texts exchanged, as long as the contact accepts. With this mode active, Skype translates both written and video calls.
In voice or video calls, it is also possible to combine an incoming call with an active one (except in the web version), record calls to listen to or watch later and share the computer screen with conference members to make a presentation, for example. It is also possible to blur the background to hide the home mess when doing home office.
Skype allows you to make video calls with up to 50 people Photo: Divulgao
How to use Skype for virtual meetings
There are two modes of video calling: the common one, made for chatting with a small group of people, and the virtual meetings. This second modality is more suitable for those who need to hold work meetings remotely, as it has better functions of moderation and collaboration. In addition, the only way to invite up to 50 people to participate without having to create an account.
To start a meeting, open Skype and click the Meeting button to get a shareable link. The guest can click and enter instantly, either through the computer or cell phone with the appropriate apps installed, or through the browser via Skype Web.
'Reunio' function creates shareable link for video call Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves
Differences for Skype Business and Microsoft Teams
Skype Business is the business version that has been incorporated into Microsoft Teams, Microsoft's new solution for businesses. Teams has a free version that, among other functions, allows meetings with up to 250 people. The most suitable solution for teams whose members must always be connected and in constant collaboration.
In paid mode, the tool gains robust support for integrations with other services and gains more layers of security, including setting up employee accounts through a control panel. The service is linked to an Office 365 subscription in the ProPlus, E1, E3 and E5 business modes.
Microsoft Teams more complete and includes collaboration tools Photo: Divulgao / Microsoft
How to make common calls and send SMS via Skype
In the free version of Skype, you need to top up to be able to make Internet calls to conventional phones. With the account properly loaded, just click on the keyboard button next to the search field to access the dialer. I always need to use the DDD to call Brazilian numbers. To make calls to other countries, you can select the location by name by clicking on Brazil or manually enter the country code. To send SMS, just click on the left icon of the call button.
Access the Skype dialer to make common calls Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves
Skype is free to use the main functions, such as chat and voice and video calls between users of the application with a limit of up to 50 people. To call, I need to recharge the account with credits of R $ 15, R $ 30 or R $ 75, or subscribe to combos of minutes for national landlines and cell phones: R $ 24.50 for 100 minutes and R $ 59.50 for 400 minutes. There is also the option of unlimited international calls for R $ 49, or R $ 35 only for landlines from different countries.
Skype rates for Brazilian phones
|Type of service||Fixed||Cell phone||SMS|
|Establishment cost||R $ 0.11||R $ 0.20||R $ 0.45|
|Price per minute||R $ 0.07||R $ 0.34|
Office 365 subscribers are entitled to 60 minutes of Skype for selected numbers included in the monthly fee. The package also includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other office apps, plus more space on OneDrive. The subscription costs R $ 24 per month for a user and R $ 29 for up to six people.