Skype's Major Features

Use Skype to make free or low-cost calls locally or internationally

family using skype to talk to a child on a computer

 Jon Ovington/Flikr/CC BY 2.0

Skype is a desktop application, browser app, and a mobile app that uses the internet to make free or low-cost calls, chats and video calls to numbers worldwide. Skype is included with Office 365, or you can download the application from the Skype website. Cross-platform Skype offers robust features for free and low-cost calling and messaging.

Skype-to-Skype Free Voice Calls

Calls to and from anyone who is also on Skype are always free, whether they are local or international. The application allows you to accept or reject calls, block calls from unknown or unwanted callers, and view a caller's profile. 

Low-Cost Calls to Landlines and Mobile Numbers

After an initial free unlimited calling month, users place calls to friends and family members who aren't on Skype with a low calling rate. Call landline numbers or mobile numbers domestically or internationally, and pay for those calls with Skype Credit that you purchase online. Calling includes:

  • Forwarding calls
  • Caller ID
  • Skype number

Video Calls

Video calls are free with anyone who has Skype and a webcam or compatible smartphone. Group video calls with friends and family are also free for everyone who has Skype on a mobile device or computer. 


With Skype, you can start a chat session in private or with a group. In addition to typing instant messages, you can also:

  • Send video messages.
  • Send SMS text messages.
  • Send voice messages.
  • Respond to an instant message that was sent while you were offline.

When you'd rather message than call, Skype offers a large selection of emoticons and Mojis — brief clips from movies — to express yourself.

Skype to Go

With Skype To Go, you can use your mobile phone or landline to make and receive low-cost international calls in areas where there is no internet connection available to make regular VoIP Skype calls.


With voicemail, you record a personal greeting in your own voice, listen to voicemails that people send you and send voice messages.

Sharing on Skype

Skype offers several ways to share with your contacts. If you aren't into sharing, you can block all file transfers.

  • Share your computer screen with anyone you are talking to.
  • Send one file or multiple files to an individual or a group.
  • Drag and drop files to a contacts list.
  • Drag and drop files to a chat session to transfer them to the people you are chatting with.
  • Accept files from a person.
  • Group screen sharing.

Other Skype Features

Other Skype features you may not have heard about include:

  • Add a Skype Contact button on your website or blog. Visitors can call or message you with only one click or tap.
  • Skype Translator stands ready to translate voice calls, messages and video calls in other languages. 
  • Skype plugin for lets you go from your email inbox box to making voice and video calls
  • Skype Share button sits on your website. With a single click, it delivers your content or information into a chat format.