Most people have come across Skype, particularly if they have friends in other countries and have been keeping up to date with them using the system.
It has developed substantially over the past few years and can be used on multiple platforms: computers, tablets, games consoles and phones.
If you haven't considered using it for your communication needs you could certainly cut your phone bills and, possibly, improve your efficiency.
Skype is an internet-based phone, video and messaging service (now owned by Microsoft) with over 300 million registered users worldwide.
Apart from video calling, and text messaging their system allows you to talk over the internet. The sound quality is very good and all you need to do is download their free software.
They have different versions for different computers (Mac and PC) and, once installed, you just need a way of talking and listening.
Most computers have built-in microphone and speakers, so in this case you just sit in front of your machine and chat away.
You can purchase a phone handset, which plugs into your computer (via a spare USB socket), and then use it like a normal phone.
This is great if you are in a noisy environment or an open studio. Buy a headset with built-in microphone. Again, this plugs into your computer and has the advantage of keeping out background noise.
All connections to other Skype users are free - no matter where they are in the world. Thousands of artists use the service and many companies are starting to take advantage of the massive savings. Great for collaborative working.
Cheap Phone Calls Too
It may be that you don’t know anyone on Skype but that doesn’t mean you can’t make savings. You can call real phone numbers (landline and mobiles) around the world using Skype as well. This costs you, but the prices are very low compared to using a traditional land line service. They offer pay as you go and monthly subscription packages. Once you have a free account with Skype, you can buy calling credit online and then use that to pay for calls to real numbers.
We’ve used it to call people in Sweden, the USA, Germany and Canada with absolutely no problems. Skype keeps a check on the time and how much each call cost, so you can always keep an eye on where your money is going and bill clients/projects if needed.
On the whole, a brilliantly easy way to call locally and internationally which could save you a fortune.
They recently introduced Skype Oik a mobil messenger service for swapping videos with groups - perfect for collaborative exhibitions or group projects.
To download your free software and start saving immediately, go to Skype. Set-up is easy, fast and the whole system is simple to use.