Skype - free IM & video calls review

Skype - free IM & video calls

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Skype has been a popular name in the world of communication for over a decade. From its early days as a peer-to-peer application, it has grown into a robust tool used by millions for instant messaging (IM), voice calls, and video calls. As someone who has used Skype extensively, I am keen to share my insights on this application.

Getting Started with Skype

Setting up Skype is an uncomplicated process. No matter if you're on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, the app is accessible on nearly all operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. The first step is to download the app from the official website or the relevant app store. Once installed, creating an account is straightforward - you need an email address or a phone number, and you're good to go!

User Interface and Experience

The user interface (UI) of Skype has undergone several redesigns over the years. Currently, it sports a clean, modern look that is both intuitive and user-friendly. The main interface consists of a chat pane on the left and a larger conversation window on the right, making it easy to navigate through various contacts and conversations.

Instant Messaging Features

Skype’s instant messaging functionality is solid, offering more than just text messages. You can send photos, videos, and a variety of file types with ease. Emojis and GIFs are also integrated, adding a fun element to conversations.

Voice Call Quality

Voice calls on Skype are generally reliable and high quality. The app uses a combination of peer-to-peer and server-based technology to optimize call quality and minimize lag. Functionalities like call rerouting, message recording, and number identification enhance the entire voice communication experience. However, call quality can sometimes be affected by variations in internet speed.

Video Calling Capabilities

Skype is perhaps best known for its video calling capabilities. Whether it's a one-on-one call or a group video chat, the app delivers clear and crisp video quality. You can also record video calls, which is a useful feature for creating content or keeping a record of important conversations. Furthermore, the background blur feature ensures privacy and removes any distracting background.

Group Chats and Calls

One of the standout features of Skype is its support for group chats and calls. You can create a group with up to 300 participants in a chat or have a group video call with up to 50 people. This makes Skype an excellent tool for team meetings, virtual family gatherings, or any other group communication needs.

Skype for Business Integration

For professionals, Skype for Business offers a suite of additional features, including integration with Microsoft Office, enhanced security, and administration control. This edition is crafted to meet the requirements of sizable enterprises, allowing for smooth interaction and teamwork among employees, customers, and partners. However, note that Skype for Business is being gradually replaced by Microsoft Teams.

Security and Privacy

Skype incorporates several security measures to protect user data. End-to-end encryption is available for Skype-to-Skype calls and conversations, ensuring that your messages and calls are inaccessible to unauthorized parties. Moreover, Skype provides the option to block and report users, offering an additional level of protection from unwanted interactions and abuse. Nevertheless, it's always advisable to be wary of sharing sensitive information.

Premium Features and Subscriptions

While many of Skype’s features are available for free, there are several premium options worth considering. Skype Credit allows you to call mobile and landline numbers worldwide at competitive rates. There are also subscription plans available that offer unlimited calling to specific countries. These characteristics are especially advantageous for companies and people who often need to place overseas calls.

Performance and Reliability

In terms of performance, Skype is robust and reliable. The application runs smoothly on most devices, though older hardware might experience some lag, especially during group video calls. Regular updates from Microsoft ensure that Skype stays up-to-date with the latest features and bug fixes. The app’s reliability, however, is contingent on having a stable internet connection.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Skype remains a formidable player in the realm of communication apps. With a diverse set of functionalities, user-friendly interface, and seamless cross-platform integration, it stands out as an ideal option for both personal and professional purposes. While there are newer alternatives like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, Skype continues to hold its own thanks to its reliability and constantly evolving features.


  • Easy to use
  • Free video and voice calls
  • Available on multiple platforms
  • Integration with Microsoft Office
  • Strong security features


  • Requires a stable internet connection
  • Can consume significant data
  • Occasional performance issues on older hardware


Skype - free IM & video calls Skype - free IM & video calls
Skype - free IM & video calls
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