How Does Skype Work

Ever wondered how does Skype work? As one of the most popular ways to make Internet phone calls, Skype is a powerful VoIP phone service that takes advantage of Internet connections.

Skype relies on your Internet connection.
Typically, Skype connects you directly to another Skype user via your Internet connection-for free. This is one of the cheapest ways to make international phone calls, as these Internet phone calls don't use traditional landlines, plus the expensive wiring and services that landlines require. You have no connection fees, as Skype simply uses existing Internet connections. Skype uses an interesting peer-to-peer connection system based on proprietary, closed-source VoIP technology to connect these calls.

Make free video calls with Skype.
In addition to free phone calls to other Skype users around the world, you can make free video calls to other people who use Skype, no matter where they are. The user must simply be online, and you can use your Skype account to begin a video conference call. This technology is the same as Skype's peer-to-peer phone connectivity, and it is a free service.

You can use Skype to call people who aren't online.
In addition to the basic computer-to-computer connections, Skype offers a kind of VoIP phone service that enables you to call Skype users who have traditional landline telephones. However, this service, called SkypeOut, functions through a different protocol from Skype's regular peer-to-peer connections. SkypeOut is a premium feature, and you must pay a fee to use it in the form of buying Skype Credit. Fees vary depending on country and locality.

With the right configuration, you can receive Skype calls even when you're not online.
If your Skype account is configured thusly, you can also receive Skype calls even when you're not online. Skype offers a forwarding feature that enables you to route your Skype calls to your cell or landline, even when you're not connected to Skype. Call forwarding also uses Skype Credit or a paid subscription, so this is not a free Skype feature.

You can set up a Skype online number for non-Skype users to reach you.
Want to have a local phone number for non-local people to reach you? You can use SkypeIn to set up an online phone number at which anyone can reach you. Your online phone number doesn't have to be in the same country as your primary residence; you can set up a phone number local to Ireland, for example, even if you're living in the United States. Through SkypeIn, non-local non-Skype users can call you from their landlines as if they're making a local call, and you can pick it up anywhere in the world from your Skype service or through call forwarding. This is also a fee-based service.

You can use Skype with an iPhone or iPod touch.
Skype isn't slacking when it comes to keeping up with modern technology. You can now download applications for your iPhone or iPod touch that enable you to send and receive Skype calls when you're in a WiFi hotspot area. All you need is an active WiFi connection, a Skype account and the application on your device to send and receive Skype calls just as if you were at your computer.

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