Skype is an application that primarily allows Internet telephony via VoIP (Voice over IP). The application also allows the sending of messages, images and files in different formats. The program is available free of charge for various devices such as desktops, smartphones or tablets. Skype has been a subsidiary of Microsoft since 2011.

General information[edit]

The Skype application was founded in Luxembourg in 2003 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. Based on the experiences the two founders gained with other developers on the file sharing platform Kazaa, they set up Skype as a peer-to-peer network.

During a session, there is a direct connection between the communication participants and only the resources on the respective devices are used. Skype therefore saves infrastructure costs. The concept of distributed computer systems also has an impact on users, because video chats, messages and files do not have to be transmitted to a server, as is the case with Google Hangouts, for example.

Skype was acquired by Ebay in 2005 before the company generated strong interest on Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Ebay had sold most of its shares to an investment company. Finally, Skype became a subsidiary of Microsoft. The purchase price was $8.5 billion.



Skype uses proprietary software programmed by the developers in Luxembourg. It is free in the basic version, but calls to people who don't use Skype will be charged. Once a user has downloaded Skype, they can use various functions. The mediation and transport of the data takes place via the connection between different IP addresses. Only when the user logs can they contact another user over the Skype server.

  • Internet telephony: Using a headset, another subscriber is called via Skype.
  • Conference calls: Several participants can talk to each other in one conference call
  • Video telephony: If a webcam is available, participants can be contacted via video call
  • Video telephony conferences: Several participants can start a video conference. You see and hear yourself - the video chat management and display settings can be adjusted by the conference creator.
  • File transfer: Other Skype users can send a variety of files. As a rule, the recipient must agree to the download.

Click-to-call with Skype[edit]

Click-to-call can increase the click-through rate of advertisements in advertising. With just one click, the user has the opportunity to set up a call directly to the company. This can also be done with the help of Skype. In order to recognize phone numbers in the search results, however, the appropriate plug-in must first be downloaded.

Practical relevance[edit]

Skype is used by millions of people to communicate. In particular, people who spend a lot of time in other countries can use Skype to maintain contact. The software can be used by both individuals and companies, but different terms of use apply. In addition, for security reasons, it is not always recommended to use Skype for companies, as Skype has been criticized several times for security vulnerabilities.

In order to use Skype's Internet telephony, at least one headset is required on the PC. For other devices, such as laptops, smartphones or tablets, an integrated hands-free function is all you need to talk to others via Skype. Anyone who also wants to use video telephony needs a webcam or a camera integrated in the terminal device. Skype usually recognizes all connected devices and makes it very easy to use. Skype is also known for its good voice quality during calls.

Web Links[edit]