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How to Install and Configure Skype on Windows

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 6/6/2010

You've heard all the jazz about Skype, and now you are ready to use it. But how the heck to you install and configure Skype on Windows? Relax and read on to find out more!

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    Installing Skype

    mmckinley on wikimedia To install Skype, the first thing you need to do is visit the Skype page, and the Download Now link is right there. All you'll need to do from here is save the file. When the download is complete, run the file and follow the on screen instructions to install the program. You'll be up and running in about five minutes. The current version of Skype is 4.2, and as future versions are released, you can expect Skype to update itself when you are connected to the internet.

    The application file, SkypeSetup.exe will save to your desktop if you are using Mozilla Firefox and its standard settings. If you cannot find the file, simply go to: Start > All Programs > Search. Type in SkypeSetup.exe and click search. When it appears in the search results, double click it to get started.

    All you have to do is follow the on screen instructions to install the program to your computer. If you have any issues, consult the Skype help.

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    Configuring Skype

    Now that you have installed Skype to your system, you'll need to configure it to work for you. You'll start by signing up for an account, where you'll choose your username and password. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration process. You will use this to login and conduct business with contacts.

    Now, you'll login, and see a "Getting Started" screen. This will walk you through testing your sound with the Skype test call, finding and adding your friends on Skype, and show you how you can make calls to landline phones. You'll need to purchase Skype credit to make calls to landline and cell phones, or purchase a monthly subscription fee. You can also configure Skype to make video calls.

    You can purchase a SkypeIn telephone number for $12.00 every three months, or $24 for an entire year. This will allow regular phones and cell phones to call your computer and reach you via Skype.

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    Things to Keep in Mind

    • Skype is based on a fair use policy.
    • Skype should not replace a traditional land-line phone, as no emergency support is available.
    • Unlimited calling to any phone or computer in the USA and Canada is available for $2.95/month.