What Is Skype and How Does It Work?

An overview of the Skype VoIP service

Skype is a VoIP service, which enables people to make and receive free voice and video calls online using a computer, web browser, or mobile phone. VoIP has during the past decade showed the way to communicators how to go around the expensive PSTN and cellular plans and make international calls for free or cheap.

Skype has broken many barriers to communication. While in the past you needed to keep track of how many minutes you spent on international calls, you no longer need to worry about that. If you use Skype to make PC to PC communication, you pay nothing more than the monthly Internet service.

People making a video call.

High-Quality Calls on Skype

Skype has its own mechanism for servers to route calls and data over the Internet. It also develops its own codecs that allow it to offer high-quality voice and video communication. Skype us known for its high definition calling. 

Skype Provides Numerous Plans

Skype has developed over time into a complex tool offering solutions in different if not nearly all spheres of communication, proposing schemes and plans for individuals, mobile users, residential users, small businesses and even large businesses, international callers and instant messaging users. 

Basically, you make and receive calls to other Skype users, who are in hundreds of millions worldwide for free, irrespective of where they are and where they are calling or receiving calls from. The only requisite for the calls to be free is that both correspondents need to be using Skype

When the calls are to or from service other than Skype, like landline and cellular phones, then the calls are paid at cheap VoIP rates. Skype is not the cheapest VoIP service on the market, but it does offer good quality communication and has well worked out plans. 

The service also has a Premium plan that comes with additional features and enhancements. 

Skype also has strong business solutions that are now mostly cloud-based, with complex and sophisticated back-end engines, able to fuel even big organizations. 

Read more on Skype Connect and Skype Manager, which are Skype's business solutions.

The Skype App

The legendary Skype app first was installed on computers and Macs. While the decade unfolded into a world geared towards mobile technology, Skype had some problems getting mobile and was in some way late to the party. But today, it has strong apps for iOS, Android, and all other common mobile platforms. 

The Skype app is a softphone and full-fledged communication tool with advanced presence management, contact list, community tools, instant messaging app, and collaboration tool with many other features. 

Skype is very rich in features and keeps innovating, with its latest Skype Translate feature that allows people to talk in different languages while still understanding each other thanks to the app translating what is being said real time. 

The History of Skype

Skype was created in 2003 during the early days of Voice over IP or less technically Internet calling. It has known since great success and changed hands a couple of time before finally being acquired in 2011 by software giant Microsoft. 

Now Skype is not the most popular VoIP due to the fact that communication has become more mobile and that other apps and services have been more successful on mobile devices than Skype, like WhatsApp and Viber.