Five Cool Things You Can Do With Skype

Category: Telephony

Skype is one of the most popular free services on the Web. With a rich set VOIP calling features it is unequalled by the various copycat programs that offer free internet phone calls. But in addition to making voice calls and chatting online, Skype has a bunch of really cool features you might not be aware of. Read on to learn more about some fun and useful things you can do with Skype...

Beyond Internet Calling: Skype Advanced Features

You probably know that you can make free phone calls over the Internet with Skype, and that you can also use it to call landlines and mobile phones all over the world at very low rates. In a related article, I also revealed how to make Free Skype Calls on a Cell Phone. But there are some lesser-known and advanced features that you should know about.

(1) Free conference calling has never been easier. Whether your family, friends or business contacts want to get together, keeping in touch is possible no matter where they are. You can have up to 25 participants in a free Skype conference call. One-to-one video calling is also free with Skype, but if you want 3 or more people in a video call, you'll need a paid account. Video conferencing and screen sharing are available with a Skype Premium or business account, which starts at $4.99 a month. See Free Conference Calls With Skype for more details about Skype conference calling, and some other alternatives.
Skype Advanced Features

(2) Manage Contacts and Block Nuisance Callers When it comes to adding Skype contacts, you can import a single name by searching for other Skype users by email address, phone number, full name or Skype name. You can also enter an entire address book at once by importing contacts from your Outlook Express or Facebook contact lists.

Unfortunately, there are often contacts that you would rather not have. It's easy to block one if you use Windows by simply going into the Contacts or Recent tab. If you have OS X, bring up the sidebar and block from there. In both cases, you can choose to report the person as abusive and Skype will store and mark his/her name. You can also change your settings so that only those who are in your contact list can call you. I found this especially useful when I started getting those annoying Skype Urgent Online Repair scam calls. Click Tools > Options > Privacy to block unwanted callers.

(3) Record Your Skype Calls. In addition to calling, you can record the audio and save it for later use. Unfortunately, this feature is not built into Skype, but there are tools to get the job done. One of the most popular free Skype recording tools is Pamela. The free version for Windows can record Skype calls up to 15 minutes, and video calls up to 5 minutes long. Paid versions give you unlimited voice, video and chat recording capability. There's also the free MP3 Skype Recorder which has no recording limitations, and can do automatic and "stealth mode" recording. There are Skype recording apps available for Apple users like IMCapture for Mac OS X, and iPhone/iPad apps too.

(4) Skype Games and Whiteboarding While we are on the subject of apps, drawing on Skype has come a long way. Originally there was a Sketchpad tool, but it has been replaced by much more efficient whiteboards like uSeeToo. Not only can you play chess, make collages and share photos with other Skypers, the Java app lets you draw freehand and geometric shapes. You can also try out Easybits GameXN GO, an app for playing free games on Skype. After you and a friend download it, choose between thousands of titles from action to sports to puzzles.

(5) Skype Home Security Camera. With a bit of fiddling, you can use Skype to create your own free do-it-yourself security camera system. If you've ever wanted to check up on your house while you're away on vacation, see what the dog does while you're out, or spy on the babysitter, this Skype Video Security How-To will show you the steps to set it up.

Do you have tips to share about other fun, interesting or useful Skype uses? Post your comment or question below...

Ask Your Computer or Internet Question

  (Enter your question in the box above.)

It's Guaranteed to Make You Smarter...

AskBob Updates: Boost your Internet IQ & solve computer problems.
Get your FREE Subscription!


Check out other articles in this category:

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

This article was posted by on 9 Jul 2012

For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
Spice Up Your Photos With Instagram

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
Five Free Online Survey Tools

Most recent comments on "Five Cool Things You Can Do With Skype "

Posted by:

Ruth Jonkman
09 Jul 2012

What about using Skype to view another users's screen? This is very helpful when troubleshooting friend's computer problems.

Posted by:

09 Jul 2012

I use Skype to help a friend with computer issues. We make a voice only call and then he selects to share his screen with me. I can then see what he is doing and guide him through issues. To me, this is a big Skype feature.

Posted by:

09 Jul 2012

I was interested in using Skype as a home security camera but when I clicked on the link McCafee site Advisor intervened and said the site was dangerous.

Posted by:

John Pettett
10 Jul 2012

File sharing is another very convenient feature. Just drag and drop into the message window. Most document files are quick. Really large files may take a few minutes but it's happening in the background while you continue the conversation.

Posted by:

10 Jul 2012

Can I use Skype to record a video of myself sleepwalking? This is a serious question, because I do sleepwalk. It seems that either I turn on the light, or I sleepwalk when it's early morning in the light, so it's not in darkness. My sleep study center keeps saying they've never had a request for infrared videotaping of sleepwalkers, and I keep saying that I'm requesting it! Maybe Skype could be my solution, because I can't afford an expensive night-monitoring video system.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes, here's one example: (You can search for "skype motion detector" to find other examples)

Posted by:

13 Jul 2012

thanx for info, but i always use this skype calls recorder, i heard a lot of nice reviews about it!)

Posted by:

19 Feb 2020

Yeah, Skype is great, particularly for casual, social interactions. But when it comes to business exchanges, I need greater security. I use RHUB's web conferencing server b/c it works from behind my firewall (and not outside of it).

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! Comments of a political nature are discouraged. Please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are reviewed, and may be edited or removed at the discretion of the moderator.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter

Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
About Us     Privacy Policy     RSS/XML

Article information: AskBobRankin -- Five Cool Things You Can Do With Skype (Posted: 9 Jul 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved