Getting Started on Skype

Updated on December 09, 2009
S.W. asks from Napa, CA
6 answers

Hello - I would like to start Skyping with family who lives out of state and have a few questions:

1) Does anyone have any recommendations for a good Skype camera? I have a PC, if that makes a difference.
2) Do I need any other equipment other than a computer & camera?
3) Finally, once I have the equipment, how do I actually get set up on Skype?

Thank you!

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answers from Stockton on

Hello S.,

One good thing about Skype is that you can call and see people at the same time for free. Now, regarding your question about equipments....

Any camera (for pc) would actually work on it. You have a lot of choices with those and can get them almost just anywhere. Just make sure though that the camera you will buy would have a built in microphone. If it doesn't have one, you will also need to buy a pc headset (with microphone), and as soon as you have all of these, you can start skyping by going to and following their step by step instructions on how to download it to your pc.

Good luck and happy skyping..... Hope this helps........


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answers from Salinas on


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answers from San Francisco on

I am currently using Skype with my son being in Italy. Depending on the location of the other person and the quality of their equipment it's a great way to see and communicate with loved ones. And it FREE.

You can use a PC or a laptop, but getting a good webcam and microphone is important. To setup Skype just go to and download the software and setup a user name. That all to it.

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answers from San Francisco on

I just love Skype! My mac has a built in camera/mic so I don't know much about gear. I recall that my husband said that you really shouldn't get expensive gear, because the image quality is always poor.
Just go to and they will walk you through the download steps. You can set it up to launch when you turn on your computer. From there, you can enter in people's names/email addresses and then add them to your contact list. Much like IM, when you are connected with other skype users, you and they will see when you are available to chat. then you can talk away! My friend uses it as a phone to make calls on land lines. enjoy it!

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answers from Sacramento on

Hi S.!

We love Skype in this house - all kinds of chat time with the grands for my boys & I get to chat with friends overseas for free - it's great!

We use a Microsoft Lifecam 1.4 & we don't need a separate microphone because of our built-in microphone (which I believe most newer pc's have).

I do know that my overseas contacts need to have a separate microphone for us to be able to chat - not sure why that is, but I can see them, just can't hear them unless they have that addition.

Once you go to the website, it should be easy to get set up - have fun!

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answers from San Francisco on

I have never tried skype...but have you heard about the VIDEO PHONE??? I have mine and I see my family all the time in Central America..just lift up my mom and they need to have one as well..and ta-da I seem them! It is awesome, I cant tell you how grateful I am for the videophone... I pay about $30 a month for the service and it works with your internet...let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck!

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