SKYPE question

<p>I looked at the website, but still don't quite understand. We are dealing with an area that has very poor cell phone reception. Does Skype mean that cell phones connect via the internet? DO you have to be at your computer for it to work? Please enlighten me! I totally don't get it.</p>

<p>Do both people have to have Skype for it to work?</p>

<p>it's pretty much AIM but with video chat...</p>

<p>Oh. Like live chat on iBook?</p>

<p>I use it computer to computer, so cell phone connection is not needed.
Love it becasue my long distance calls are free!</p>

<p>Do both parties have to be subscribers?</p>

<p>When you are communicating computer to computer both parties have to be subscribers, but it is FREE for both of you. There are costs associated with calling from your computer to a land line or cell phone.</p>

<p>Thanks for the info. It can be just voice, or voice + video? Is the voice/video quality good?</p>

<p>It can be just voice. The quality of voice/video can vary depending upon your computer equipment.</p>

<p>The cost of communicating computer to land line is VERY LITTLE. (Example - $.02 a minute from the African continent). Quality is very dependent upon the strength of the internet connection - I hear perfectly well from some places, horribly from others, and distance is NOT the factor.</p>

<p>Skype occasionally offers me a one-question 'survey' asking how the call quality was, at the close of a call. I am only offered this choice when the other party I call is a land-line or cellphone and not another computer. So far I have experienced overwhelmingly good connections and call quality... when I have a good Internet connection! (I even use it for work calls when I'm telecommuting.)</p>

<p>As others have said, there is no charge for connecting computer-to-computer; if you use this option both parties need to have Skype installed. If your computer has video capabilities (with built-in or external webcam) your conversation can include video (but does not have to), otherwise it's audio only. Skype calls are LOT better if you can plug a headset with microphone and headphones into your computer; mine sounds better than my cellphone most of the time. </p>

<p>If you want to call a landline or cellphone, you will have to pay. You can buy Skype credits and pay by the call, but there is a full-year subscription option (VERY reasonably priced!) which entitles you to unlimited calls to various areas (I purchased 12 months to all US/Canada phones for less than $30, and I even use it for work conference calls.) You can pay using Paypal. I would recommend Skype.</p>

<p>D used Skype to call our land line when she was in Paris this summer. The cost, as ohmadre says, was minimal (2 cents a minute) and the quality was outstanding.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the advice. Connecting to Skype was on today's TO DO list! If you are shopping for a webcam (like me) I just read a bunch of reviews and this one seems to be rated highly by several sources: </p>

<p>Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000</p>

<p>Why I would want my daughter and her roommates to see me when I go on line at odd hours early in the morning is beyond me. </p>

<p>I think my DH pictures this as a baby monitor on steroids, but I don't think it will really work this way as D is likely to shut off the camera at her end...</p>

<p>Thanks for initiating this thread.
Now one more thing to add to my list.
Riverrunner, thanks for the infor. on webcam</p>

<p>Thanks for the nudge! I just signed up: easy as can be!</p>

<p>New to Skype here and learned that buying the $29 Radio Shack basic web cam was a big mistake. Took it back. Make sure to get at least 1.3 pixels.</p>

<p>Haven't perfected this yet. Had problems getting the video working well, and microphone seems to be muted all the time. </p>

<p>Had perfect video via skype of Daughter's dorm in Maastricht, and audio was wonderful. So hard to believe it is all FREE :)</p>

<p>has anyone tried the headphone/web cam bundle offered by Skype?</p>

<p>Just went shopping for webcam. If you don't care much about resolution, Office Depot has a Logitech QuickCam Connect on sale for $9.99 after rebate. The picture is jerky, which I don't care about, since we are just going to use this for Skype and want to make eye contact with child while talking, but don't want to show video of grandchildren playing, etc. This unit has a built-in microphone, which sounded fine to us during our test conversations between the family room and the kitchen. I figure for that price, we'll try it for a while and upgrade if not OK.
Resolution is listed as:
VGA sensor 640x480 pixels
live capture is the same resolution. SouthJerseyChessMom is recommending 1.3 pixels, and I'll bet a lot of the jerkiness would resolve with the higher pixel count. Ya get whatcha pay for.</p>

<p>The high end Logitech 9000 was $99 and there is everything in between.</p>

<p>I'm welcoming any other advice about using Skype as we are newbies. Do people like the chat feature, or are there better ways to IM?</p>

<p>I am a huge, huge, huge fan of Skype. I've used it for the last 3.5 years, including two studies abroad. Somehow, it just works. There've been a couple of times that my internet didn't really work at all despite the fact that my computer said I was connected. I couldn't check e-mail, I couldn't go to any webpage, nothing. But my Skype still worked. I now buy the monthly subscription and use Skype for most of my calls to landlines as well.</p>

<p>My advice with Skype is to not rely on an internal microphone in your computer. Lots of laptops have microphones, but there's often feedback and the other person can hear their own voice as it comes out of your computer speakers and the microphone picks it up. Also, if you're typing and talking at the same time, the computer picks it all up. You can get headset/microphones for around $10, and it really does improve the quality of the call.</p>

<p>I've got a webcam, but I've never used the video calls. But for my mom and my friends, talking is fine and we don't need to bother seeing each other. My mom and I use the chat feature, but I usually use AIM for instant messaging my friends. Skype Chat works fine, but more of my friends use AIM, so that's what I use for IMing.</p>

<p>I should have mentioned that I'm not too concerned about the image my computer is projecting to others, but am happy to report that the image my daughter's Mac is sending to me is very sharp and detailed and captures motion well. I think when she points it out the dorm window, we'll be happy. </p>

<p>The image my cheap camera projects to her is fine: low resolution makes my skin look smooth and youthful :)</p>