Skype – The easy way to make international calls

Ever needed to make a call overseas but don’t have a quick (or inexpensive) way to do it?  Well in this article, we’ll walk you through installing Skype on your computer or phone, and give you a quick demo on how you can use it to call someone overseas (in this case, England — we have family there).

Download and Install Skype

On Your Computer

Let’s tackle the computer first. If you have speakers and a microphone, head to: http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/.

There you’ll find links for the Windows, Linux, and Mac versions of Skype. Download your version and run the install.

On Your Mobile Phone or Tablet

If you have a mobile device like an iPad, iPhone, Android phone or tablet, click on the appropriate link below to go to the Apple or Google Play store and click “install” –

iPhonehttp://www.skype.com/go/getskype-iphone/

iPad – http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-ipad/

Android Devices (phones & tablets) – http://market.android.com/details?id=com.skype.raider

Once Skype has been downloaded and installed on your device, we’re ready to make a call!

Signing in to Skype

If you have a Microsoft (Hotmail, Outlook, etc.), Facebook, or a Skype account, you can use those to sign into Skype.

If you don’t have any of the above already, you’re given the option to create a new account when you start Skype up (on your computer or mobile device) for the first time. Creating a Skype account only requires your name, country, language, a Skype name and password. The other fields are not required and can be left blank.

Buying some credits

Making any call on Skype to another landline or cell phone requires credits. Fortunately for us, calls are cheap. Rates to places such as the UK from the US are 2.3c/min (cents per minute).

So before we make a call lets buy some credits. (Using a computer for this step, rather than a cell phone or tablet, is faster and easier.)

Now that you are logged in to Skype, go to the call screen. You should  see a screen similar to Figure 1.

Skype Call Screen
Figure 1 – Skype Call Screen

On this screen, you have the option to view your account or buy Skype credits.

Select Buy Skype Credit. You’ll be taken to the Skype Store where you will be able to buy credits (see Figure 2).

Buy Credits
Figure 2 – Buying Credits

Select Continue and enter your billing address. Finally you will be given an option to select a payment method. Choices include Visa, Mastercard and Paypal.

Once you complete the purchase your credits will be added to your account.

Making a Call

Now we are ready to make that inexpensive, international call.

From the call screen we were on previously (Figure 1), enter the phone number you wish to dial.

This number must be in international format.

In the Windows version, just select the flag for the country you wish to dial then enter 10 digit number. For example, let’s say we’re calling a British number. We’d select the British flag and enter the area code and the rest of the number. So, if the phone number we wanted to dial was 0871 xxx xxx, we’d simply select the UK flag and dial 871 xxx xxxx. (You only dial the “0” if you’re actually in England.)

 

 

 

 

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