Skype is a great way to communicate video audio or video for free. It is a simple download and can be used on either a Mac or Windows machine. (A mac can also communicate with a windows user.)

To Download to go Be sure to find the download that is for your platform (mac/win)
  1. A blue file folder will appear in either your downloads folder or on your desktop. Double click it.
  2. Once a new window appears you will see this picture: Picture_1.png
  3. Drag the skype logo into the applications folder (right in that window)
  4. Then a "copy" window will open. Once that copy process is over, Skype in your applications folder. Now you can either add it to your dock or double click skype to open the program and use it.

Once it is downloaded (and installed) you will need to set up your own account:
  1. The first time you download the program, a screen like this one appears.
  2. If you don't have an account, you need to Click the link "Don't have a Skype Name?"
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  4. You will need to find a skype name that is not taken. (It does not like skype names with spaces.)
  5. As you are filling in this form, you might want to check the first two boxes at the bottom instead of the bottom two.
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  7. then fill in your real name and other information for the profile.
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  9. I suggest you use the email account you use regularly and pick a password that you use regularly also.
  10. Once your account is set up, it will come up to a profile window to fill in.
  11. You don't have to add a picture, web site, about me, or any of the other things unless you choose to.
  12. I might ask you if you want to add your address contacts, I would say NO.
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  14. Then it will let you know when your web camera is ready to be used (it does it automatically. Click close.
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  16. Now make a test call to the test account listed in your contacts menu. (I suggest that you keep this in your list just in case you need to troubleshoot a connection in the future. If you can't make a call to a specific individual, you can always do a test call to see if the problem is at your end or theirs.)

Once you have an account, you need to add a contact to talk to:
  1. Find out the person's skype name or email address is so you can search for their account.
  2. Go to the Contacts menu across the top of the screen
  3. Click "add contact"
  4. type in their email or skype name and click search
  5. choose the contact that is in the right town and click add contact

Once you have a contact, you need to connect to them:
  1. ask the person what their skype name or email address is so you can search for their account.
  2. Set up a time to contact the other person (most people don't stay logged into skype all day)
  3. Choose the contact name from the list (notice there is a green symbol next to the names of people who are logged into skype at the moment)
  4. Click the green telephone button to dial.
  5. The receiver has to accept your call
  6. Once they receiver answers, you begin talking. Like normal. Be aware of a bit of delay...
  7. If you would like to do video chat, then click the video camera button at the bottom of the screen next to the "more" button (you should see yourself in a small window and the receiver in a large window)

Additional Notes:
  • If the other person you are talking to does not have a web camera, you can still do a video chat because they can see you and you can hear them. I do this with my children when they need to see me, and I can settle for just their voices.
  • Conference calling can be done between several users, but it is audio only if you are using the free version. IF you want to see all of the conference callers, then you will have to pay a monthly fee