Chapter 1. What's All the Hoopla about Skype?

In This Chapter

  • Introducing Skype

  • Using Skype for more than a phone call

  • Enhancing Skype

Do you know what happens when you speak to someone over a phone line? Your conversation is converted into an electronic signal and sent over a copper wire or some wireless network to someone else's phone. The phone companies have set up vast networks to seamlessly connect you to just about anyone on the planet and these days, the networks are all digital even if your phone is not. In addition to managing the call, phone companies track where you are dialing to and how long the call persists so that they can send you a bill at the end of the month.

Wait a second — if the zeros and ones pushed through the phone lines are the same as the zeros and ones found on computers like yours, networks, and the World Wide Web, why can't you push those zeros and ones through the Internet? Well, you can. That's what Skype is all about.

In this chapter, you find out what makes Skype different from regular telephones, along with surprising ways to use Skype and a quick overview of ways to make Skype fun and productive.

Seeing What Skype Can Do For You

Skype can dramatically alter how you exchange information, how you meet new people, and how you interact with friends, family, and colleagues.

Although you can make calls on Skype, there is oh so much more to it. For starters, here are some things you get or can do with Skype:

  • Call to or receive a call from a regular telephone, ...

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