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Tricks & Tips

Posts Tagged ‘Video Chat’


Have you tried Skype yet?  If not, check out our previous tip for all the details.  Remember, Skype is free when calling other Skype users.

1.  Place calls from your cell phone
International is what I’m referring too.  Skype’s rates calling abroad trump the land line or any cell phone companies hands down.  Setup Skype To Go to get a local number in your area.  Dial this number from your cell then dial your international number.  The charges will be on your billed to your Skype account (less standard minutes) at their low rates.  I just used my cell and Skype To Go to call a support company in Ireland for 6 minutes – cost me $.21.

2.  Use Skype as a home monitor while away
Call your home Skype account from a remote location to see, and hear what’s going on.  It’s really quite simple to do:

  1. After you’ve setup Skype at home, go to Tools, Options.  Look under Call Settings and choose Advanced Options.
  2. Under Allow calls from, dot People in my Contact list only.  Check Answer incoming calls automatically, and Start my video automatically.
  3. Ensure you’ve added your 2nd Skype account as a contact then just dial your home Skype anytime while you’re away.

3.  Use Bluetooth for hands-free
I prefer a webcam with built in mic.  But if you’re looking for privacy without the cords, sync your Bluetooth headset to your computer.  You must have Bluetooth built in to your computer, or purchase a USB add-on.  Once synced, go to Options.   Look under Audio Settings to select Bluetooth.

4.  Do you use your computer for Skype?  You don’t have to!
For super ease of use, you can purchase a USB phone that connects to your computer.  Take it a step further and look for a wireless phone. Sure!  Skype Wireless phone works wherever you can find wireless access (not cell).  Shop @ Skype for all the extra gadgets.

5.  Skype is for your business too
Setup a real number to receive calls in Skype from land lines and cells.  Voicemail, conference calls, call recording, transferring, and call logs are more options available.  Check out Skype’s video overview.

In the news…
See what Microsoft imagines 2019 might be like: start video.



Does the sound of “VoIP” or “voice over IP” scare you?  Have you been interested, but think it’s just too complicated?  It really isn’t.  Follow a few simple steps below and you’ll be happy you did!  My grandparents are 600 miles away, and my cousin just left for Afghanistan.  Using a webcam with Skype, it’s like we’re all chatting around the same table.  No joke.

Getting Started

  1. If you want to do things right and make this as easy as possible, purchase a webcam with a built in mic.  I suggest the Logitech QuickCam Pro.  This takes a lot of hassle and wires out of the equation.  Any webcam will work – check your local office supply store.  Again, look for the mic built in.
  2. Download and install Skype for free at www.skype.com
  3. Ask your friends or family to do the same steps above
  4. Search for your friends in the Instant Message style chat tool to start communicating

If you’ve tried Skype before (been around for years), give it another whirl.  The newest version, 4.0, focuses on bandwidth improvements for a better video experience.

In the news…
Time Change!
Spring forward – be sure to set your clocks forward before you go to sleep Saturday night.  Continue reading….