How does Skype work?

Written by amanda kondolojy
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How does Skype work?
Skype allows you to communicate over the Internet. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

In order to use Skype, the first component that you will need is a Skype ID. Once you sign up with a Skype ID, you will be issued a unique number, which is tied to a customisable username. The Skype ID facilitates a quick connection method, much like a telephone number, and ensures accurate connection with other Skype users. The Skype ID is also recognisable to landline telephones as a regular analogue telephone number through the SkypeOut service.

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The Skype ID

In order to use Skype, the first component that you will need is a Skype ID. Once you sign up with a Skype ID, you will be issued a unique number, which is tied to a customisable username. The Skype ID facilitates a quick connection method, much like a telephone number, and ensures accurate connection with other Skype users. The Skype ID is also recognisable to landline telephones as a regular analogue telephone number through the SkypeOut service.

Connecting

Skype is able to connect to landline telephones as well as digital Skype members through Voice over IP technology, or VoIP. Skype has a very specific, closed-source proprietary VoIP system that uses a peer-to-peer system. This system is based on an overlay network which crates and refreshes the host's cache.This is in direct contrast with more traditional connection methods used by other VoIP providers like Vonage. In this way, Skype is also able to distribute bandwith needs among various users. This is also how Skype is able to keep its core services free.

SkypeOut Service

In addition to the core peer-to-peer VoIP service that Skype offers, there is also a premium SkypeOut service that changes the VoIP signal and makes it acceptable to traditional telephone lines. Since this connection cannot be shared among several peer to peer servers, it is considered a premium service, and Skype users must pay to call landlines.

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