Skype is a powerful tool that allows you to video call friends and family all over the world. Webmaster, Drew, explains how to get started.

Skype is a communication program that is free to use for chatting and video calls. There is a payment component to Skype, but that is only if you want to make cheap phone calls to anywhere in the world. While Video calls are most effective when both people involved in the chat have a camera, you do not need to have one of your own to receive camera footage from a friend or family member around the world. Some digital cameras can also be adapted and used as “webcams”.

How to setup your account

1. Visit the Skype website – //
2. On the middle right hand side is a button named “Download Skype”, left mouse click this button.
3. A new page will appear and after 5-10 seconds a box should pop up. If you are using Internet Explorer, click the button called “Run”. If you are using Mozilla FireFox, Click the “Save File” button which will automatically save the file to your downloads folder and a new small window will pop up. Double left click on the latest downloaded file to called “SkypeSetup.exe”
4. If using Internet Explorer, click the Run button when the download is complete and again when you are prompted to. Now for both all internet browsers, Select your Language (English) and press the second button from the bottom right called “I agree – install”. This may take a few minutes depending on your computer.
5. Once the install is complete, at the bottom right there will be the button “Start Skype”, click this.
6. Now you will need to fill in the normal registration details. Once you have filled this in, click in the box requiring you to accept the user agreement of Skype, and click Next (feel free to read over it if you would like). Now you will have to fill in more details. Now click the “Sign in” button to continue!
7. This may take a while as the system is trying to verify your details. With my signup attempt, my username “webmasteras” was taken, so I was given a couple of alternatives to choose from, but I decided to change it completely and was accepted when I clicked “Sign in”, again located at the bottom.
8. You will now be confronted with what looks like a highly complex screen, but is relatively simple. There is a couple of ways to add contacts. If you only want to add a specific contact to your list, at the top of the screen in the toolbar is a dropdown menu called Contacts. Left click on the word “Contacts” and then “New Contact”. You can now enter the details of your friend into the search function, the details that can be used are either the Full name, email address or Skype Name of the person involved. Enter this and then click the Find button. Once you have found this contact, click the “Add contact” button at the very bottom of the screen. You will be taken to another window and asked to enter an introductory note to let the person know it is you. Now click “Send”. You have now successfully added your first contact! Click the close button at the bottom right hand side. That contact will now appear on the far left hand side under contacts.
Video call webcam9. The other way of getting contacts onto your Skype account is by “Importing contacts”. This can be found under the “Contacts” tab at the top. Once you click on the “Importing Contacts” tab, you will come to a screen with various options. Follow the option that suits your contact list and follow the prompts to import all that you can!
10. Make sure you’ve got a webcam and check:
– it’s plugged into your computer
– you’ve installed the software that came with it
– it’s switched on.
11. In your Contact list, find the person you want to talk to.
Click on them.
12. In the main window, click the green Video call button.
13. Smile, wave, say hello!