How Does Skype Work?

So how does Skype work? Skype works by using your internet connection and its specialist software to send information such as your calls and webcam to another computer or phone via the internet. The information is sent in a similar fashion to that of an email or MSN Messenger. The user then uses Skype software to interpret the message and display it in Skype’s user friendly interface.

Skype uses a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) network, not publicly available, designed around a peer-to-peer model rather than the more traditional tailored-to-client protocols.

Skypes user directory is distributed around users computers enabling the whole business to scale-up very quickly and easily. Skype has 240 million users worldwide, a around about the population of mainland USA.

VoIP services are much cheaper than traditional phone lines since all the information gets transmitted over the internet. This also means that long-distance or otherwise expensive landline/mobile calls are much easier since communication via the internet can reach all corners of the globe with ease. As a result, Skype lends itself to people involved in regular international calls.

For sending messages to phones, Skype's powerful software sends messages through internet connection through to the phone via land line or mobile network mediums, or direct via internet to the phones Skype applications. You can even use a special VoIP phone designed for an internet connection – a Skype phone, which looks like any other phone and can be used as an alternative to talking into a microphone on a computer. This alleviates the problems associated with talking clearly into a microphone, since you either need to be right next to it or be shouting from a distance!

Skype software uses an selection of audio-compression, including ‘SILK’, a codec designed to be low-weight and embeddable. Skype software works with Linux, (Apple) Mac OS X, (Apple) iPhone OS – for iPhone and iPod Touch, Sony’s PSP (PlayStation Portable) and of course Micrsoft Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Mobile and Windows 7 – purpose built for portable mini laptops.

So how does Skype work with mini laptops? Mini laptops come with a whole range of built in devices such as webcams, speakers and an array of connectivity devices. Although you may need to purchase a microphone or headset to speak, you can take advantage of existing wi-fi networks and make calls to your friends whether they’re in Birmingham or Bangkok!


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