Skype is software that allows users to make voice and video calls with other Skype users and non-users. It relies on voice over Internet protocol, VoIP, a technology that establishes connections using the Internet. VoIP primarily broadcasts voice communications transcribed over data networks. Skype is easy to use once the software is downloaded to a computer. Skype can introduce users to a whole new way of communicating beyond traditional telephony. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
VoIP is basically the engine that makes Skype work. It uses your internet connection to make free calls using your computer. Simply put, VoIP transmits transcribed voice traffic over data networks. Calls can be placed to other VoIP users on a computer, as well as to conventional land line phone users.
P2P or Peer-to-Peer telephony
In addition to VoIP, Skype is also supported by P2P telephony otherwise known as peer-to-peer. It allows users to share, search and download files. Peer-to-peer allows multiple nodes in a network to come together and participate in traffic routing, processing, and other bandwidth-intensive tasks – tasks that a central server would normally perform. Initially, Skype began to develop the first peer-to-peer network
Network Address Translation
– network address translation allows multiple users. Those with firewalls and those who don’t – have to communicate using Skype. Calls and instant messages are fully encrypted to minimize security risks. Encryption also prevents communication from being blocked by a user’s firewall, which is designed to only allow access by authorized communications. Encryption is necessary for Skype to be supported securely on the public Internet highway.
Decentralized User Directory
Skype decentralized to the user’s directory for the purpose of establishing connections between end users, so that they can create a static username and identity with a changing IP address. The change in intellectual property that happens when a user reconnects to a network through a different connection point. Since most centralized user directories monitor users with an IP address and username, even when they are not online, the directories grow larger over time as more users are added, becoming expensive to maintain. Skype will minimize these costs when it has decentralized the user’s directory.
Skype is able to route calls through the path of least resistance. In other words, when a call is made, Skype uses that entire network path or multiple paths available on the network to make the call. This increases call quality and delay limits.
Download Skype Software
Since Skype is software, it requires users to download from the company’s site. The download is free. The good thing about the software is that it comes pre-programmed with an installation wizard that guides users through the process. The download finds the computer’s speakers and microphone, which are needed to make voice calls. To participate in video calls – a free feature of Skype software – users need to have a webcam on their computer. The download detects the webcam device automatically and coordinates the use of this feature.