Free Conference Calls With Skype
Does Skype offer a good conference calling experience if you have multiple participants? I know Skype is free, but are there any limitations on conference calls with Skype? Are there other free conference calling services I should check out?
Using Skype for Free Online Conference Calls
Skype, the free Internet phone service, is widely used for person-to-person voice and video calls. But you can also make conference calls between up to 25 persons via Skype. Like other types of calls, conference calls are free between Skype users. But you need to have credits or a subscription to include parties on landline or mobile phones.
To initiate or host a conference call, you will start by building a contact group. In Skype, from the menu bar, select Contacts and then Create New Group. Add contacts to the group by dragging them from your contacts list to the group area. You can add up to 24 contacts to a group, then save the group you just created.
Click the Call Group button. The screen will change colors and you will hear ringing until the first party answers. As more parties join the conference, icons or images representing each party will appear on screen.
A call bar will appear across the bottom of the screen. You can click its buttons to adjust call volume, mute your microphone, activate video and other functions. To add an incoming call to a conference call, click More on the notification screen, then click Add to Conference. To drop someone from a conference call, mouse over his or her image and click the red icon. You can do this only if you are the host of the call. You can do more than talk on a conference call. You can also send instant messages to individuals, transfer files, and send contacts.
Limitations of Skype For Conference Calling
- If you're a Skype user, and you don't have a Skype Online Number, then all of your conference call participants must "dial in" through Skype. The solution is to purchase a Skype Online Number, so people can call it from a landline or mobile phone to join your conference call while it is in progress.
- There is a limit of 25 participants in a Skype conference call.
- There is a limit of 10 people in a Skype video conference, but this feature is only available with a Skype Premium account.
- Screen sharing on a conference call is only available with a Skype Premium account.
Free Conference Calling: Other Options
You might also want to look into Google Voice. My article Free Conference Calls With Google Voice has details about the features and limitations of that service. Or check out a handful of other free conference call services in my guide to Free Teleconferencing.
I've read some reports about a Skype for Business version, which supposedly will permit more participants on conference calls, and have additional features. But after going around in circles on the Skype website, it's not clear what the Business version offers. If you can figure it out, let me know!
Have you used Skype for conference calls? Give us your pro's and con's. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 26 Jan 2012
|For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.|
Microsoft Word vs Google Docs
The Top Twenty
Where to Download Free Fonts
Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions
Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005
- Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- Free Conference Calls With Skype (Posted: 26 Jan 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved