How to Explain Skype

To explain Skype, it's essential to understand a little bit about VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Skype is a software program that connects you to other Skype users and allows the transmission of voices over the Internet. Using existing Internet connections, Skype can connect you with people around the block or around the world at no charge.

Brief Explanation
A brief explanation of Skype is that it is the name of a company that offers an Internet telephone service. Voices are turned into digital signals and transmitted over existing connections fast enough so that two people can have real-time conversations. Skype can even be set up to connect to a regular phone.

How It Works
The Skype technology works as a VoIP and utilizes data packets to transmit everything from video, text, photos and sound files. The headset captures your voice and converts it into a digital format. The audio stream is compressed and bundled into smaller segments, known as packets. Using existing Internet connections, the packets are transmitted to the receiver, where the packets are reassembled and played for the listener. The receiver listens to the reassembled message and then speaks a reply, which is transmitted the same way. This transfer of information takes merely seconds to complete.

Skype users must communicate with other Skype users. Without a Skype user on the other end, there is no method to unscramble the data packets, and the message cannot be received.

Get The Software
Go directly to Skype's Web site to download the software necessary to make the transmissions. The Web site is easily navigable, and the software should be no trouble to download to your personal computer. You'll also need to buy a headset at your local computer store, or you can order one online from Skype. Once you launch the software on your PC or Macintosh, simply add the headset and start conversing with someone else who also has Skype.

Problems With Skype
Among the more common problems with Skype is the fact that you can use it only with other Skype users. Also, depending on the bandwidth, Skype communication can be of lesser quality, with occasional audio delay. The higher the bandwidth, the clearer communication will be.

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