How to Join a Skype Video Conference Call

Skype, the popular internet-based company, helps to make the world a little bit smaller with their free (or, in some case, inexpensive) phone and video call service that gives people across the country and around the world the ability to communicate with each other easily and economically.

Recently, Saved By Typing hosted a Skype Video Conference Call that brought together four typers and their support facilitators from the East Coast and the Midwest for an informal get-together that gave them a chance to share their stories and experiences like never before.

However, as with just about any new or developing technology, compatibility and usability can be an issue that needs to be addressed for the system to work correctly. To help you get started with Skype, and set up properly to join one of our upcoming video conferences, we will take a look at some of the issues that can negatively affect a call, as well as the steps to take to get started, so you can get the most out of the experience.

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Get the Most from Your Skype Experience

Some of the issues that can negatively impact your Skype experience include:
  • Internet Service Provider:
    • Must be a broadband connection: DSL, cable, Uverse, etc.
    • Cannot use telephone/landline connection
  • Internet Connection:
    Hardwired ethernet (highly recommended) or wireless (wifi); wifi can lose connections more easily than ethernet, which can cause the call to be dropped, requiring annoying and time-consuming reconnection. When connected to a multiple-user video call, this can cause a variety of problems.
  • Bandwidth (upload/download speed):
    Many internet providers offer various bandwidth packages; the higher your bandwidth, the better your connection and smoother the video.
  • Processor speed:
    At least 1 Ghz required; the higher the better!
  • Memory (RAM):
    • While Skype only requires an internal memory (RAM) of 256MB, it is important to realize that video conference calls use considerably more memory than a one-on-one voice or video call, and will use up your memory quickly, which can cause the system to freeze or crash.
    • We recommend a minimum of 1 GB RAM for the best experience.
  • Operating System:
    For PCs, Windows 7 or better is recommended for video conference calls; XP was not designed to handle them.

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Skype System Requirements for Windows

  • Version:
    • Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions supported)
    • Windows 8*
  • Processor: At least 1 GHz (2 Ghz recommended)
  • RAM: At least 256 MB (1 GB recommended)
  • Additional software: DirectX v9.0 or above

Click for instructions about how to download the latest version of Skype for Windows desktop.

Important: If you’re using Windows XP, be sure you’ve updated Windows to Windows XP Service Pack 3. Running this update will ensure that you don’t have any post-installation issues with Skype. Learn about the SP3 update here.

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Skype System Requirements for Mac

  • Version*:
    • Mac OS X v10.6 “Snow Leopard”
    • Mac OS X v10.7 “Lion”
    • Mac OS X v10.8 “Mountain Lion”
  • Processor: At least 1 GHz Intel processor (Core 2 Duo)
  • RAM: At least 1 GB
  • Additional software: latest version of QuickTime
* Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard” doesn’t support Skype for Mac 6.4 and higher.

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Installing Skype on Your Device

First, to participate in a video conference call, you must have the latest version of Skype. If you already have the application installed on your device, or if you don’t have Skype installed yet, visit their website and download the latest version of Skype. (opens in new window) Do not download Skype from anywhere else!

If you have an older version of Skype installed, you should first completely remove and reinstall Skype for Windows desktop or Skype for Mac:

Instructions for downloading the latest version of Skype for Windows desktop.

Instructions for downloading the latest version of Skype for Mac.

If you have problems downloading Skype, click here for more information.

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Getting Started with Skype

New to Skype? Don’t worry, it’s easy to get started with Skype for Windows, Mac, Linux, and a variety of portable devices. Click on your device, below, for instructions:
(links open in new window)

You should now be all set to join us for our next video meet-up. We look forward to SEEING you soon.

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