Getting ready to Skype


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Getting ready to Skype

A man relaxing at home using his tablet to Skype his friends

What's coming up

In this activity, we're going to take a look at some Skype basics: what it is; what you need to make a call; who you can call and how much it costs.

Start activity
A tablet with the Skype app ready to go

What is Skype?

Skype is a popular program for making voice and video calls across the internet. You can get it on desktop computers, laptops, mobile and tablets.

It comes already installed on many Windows computers.

To start using Skype, you may need to first download Skype to your device and then create an account. Go to the website and then click on the blue button that says Download Skype. Ask a friend or family member to help you if you don't feel confident to do this yourself.

Who can I call on Skype?

You can use Skype to make video calls with other people who have Skype. You can't make a Skype call to somebody using WhatsApp, for example.

Skype works across different devices. For example,you can call someone from a laptop computer, and the person you're calling could be using a mobile phone. As long as you're both using Skype, it will work.

Showing how the Skype app can be used on laptops, tablets and smartphones
eSafety tips icon

eSafety Tip

It's best practice to not accept or send Skype requests to people you don't know.

A mobile phone with the Skype log in screen

How much does it cost?

Most calls with Skype are totally free. As long as you're calling another person who is also using Skype, you won't be charged anything.

With Skype, you can also call regular landline and mobile phone numbers, but not for free.

Skype doesn't allow you to make some types of calls. With Skype, you can't make calls to:

  • emergency numbers
  • toll-free numbers.

Let's talk

Could I have a video chat from my computer with somebody using a mobile phone?

Yes, as long as they're both using Skype.

Click to flip

That's right.

Computers can talk to mobiles if they're both using the Skype video calling app.

No, you can't.

Click to flip

Sorry, that's not right.

You can video chat with someone using a different device to you, as long as both devices are using Skype.

Registering for Skype

Hassan wants to set up Skype so he can chat to his family. Let’s practise how you can register for Skype by helping Hassan create his account.

The next slide includes some steps to try yourself. Select the Continue button below to begin and then follow the instructions on the right hand side of the screen.

Registering for Skype

Registering for Skype

This is an interactive activity that allows learners to practise registering for Skype. This activity has no sound track and is made up of a number of images and text instructions with opportunities for the user to enter text or click on links as part of the exercise.

This is to encourage confidence using the internet by practising a simple exercise in a simulated environment.

If a mistake is made during this exercise, there will be a prompt to ask you to try it again. If another mistake is made, the video will show you how to complete that section of the exercise.

A lady using her laptop to Skype with the family


Well done, you've reached the end of the Getting ready for Skype activity.

Like most video calling apps, you don't need to pay anything to use Skype. You can talk to other Skype users for free, and you can even talk to several people at once. Skype only costs money if you want to use it to speak to somebody on a landline or mobile phone, so always make sure you call from Skype, to another Skype user.

The next activity, Making a contacts list, we will look at creating a list of people to call in Skype.