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A free Internet telephony (VoIP) application for Linux, Windows and Mac operating systems

editor's review






Skype is a free and cross-platform application that provides users with a modern Internet telephony and instant messaging application based on the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. It is available on Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS operating systems.

Features at a glance

The application offers free and unlimited worldwide Internet calls with other Skype users, an easy to use and simple graphical user interface, support for native notifications, SMS (Short Message Service) support, as well as support for prepaid phone calls.

Among other features, we can mention superior sound quality over similar products, out-of-the-box support for routers, firewalls and NAT (Network Address Translation) without requiring users to configure their network.

In addition, the program supports end-to-end encryption for improved privacy, and it’s based on the modern P2P (Peer-to-peer) technology developed by the same team that created the well known Kazaa and Joltid applications.

It’s also possible to enable the SMS functionality from the Options dialog, as well as call forwarding and voice messages. In addition, you will be able to configure your microphone, speaker and webcam devices, manage blocked people and public APIs.

Modern user interface that integrates with your desktop environment

The user interface is very familiar if you’re using cutting edge instant messaging programs, such as Pidgin or Empathy. It will list all of your contacts (both online and offline - configurable from the Preferences dialog) as well as how much credit you have and how many people are online.

It integrates with the system tray area of many open source desktop environments, such as GNOME, KDE, Xfce or Cinnamon, allowing users to quickly change their online status, start a conference call, and configure various aspects of the application.

For example, you will be able to start the application minimized, choose a different desktop style, automatically accept file transfer, choose from which to accept calls or chats, enable or disable event notifications, and to enable emoticons and avatars.

Bottom line

Summing up, we wish to thank Microsoft for still maintaining the Linux version of Skype, which allows us to easily communicate with our Windows and Mac buddies. Unfortunately, there’s no similar open source application that can offer the functionality offered by Skype!

Skype was reviewed by Marius Nestor
Last updated on December 6th, 2014
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