When we decided to make the move to Nebraska over five years ago, we moved several hours from our families. Staying connected over the years with everyone has been difficult. It wasn’t until our daughter was born that we really missed being able to actually “see” people in person versus talking to them on the phone. We started using Skype with my parents and other family members so that our daughter could actually see and speak with them and also see their environment. This helped considerably when it came time to get together in person, because it helped her recognize them and feel more comfortable around them.
I was first introduced to Skype when I worked outside of the home. I used it for messaging and calling fellow co-workers. Then, when I started working at home, I realized how valuable of a tool it really was. I was able to attend trainings and conference calls, share my screen, train others and even have my calls forwarded. It really does make working from home and staying connected possible for me and, as a user for many years, I would personally recommend it to anyone.
Since I am familiar with using Skype for my business, I was already aware of many of their awesome premium features. I wanted to share with you a little bit about the services you receive for free and those that you can get for an affordable rate.
Basic Features – Free
- Skype to Skype Calls (both audio & video calling)
- IM chat messaging
- The ability to share your screen with others
I love using the screen sharing option during software trainings or even when I am trying to show my mom how to update something on Facebook. The instant messaging comes in handy if you want to call a friend, but aren’t sure if they are “video ready” yet. Trust me, I’ve called friends before that still had their hair in a towel from getting out of the shower! Messaging before you call is always a nice gesture.
Advanced Features – Pay as You Go or Subscriptions
- Skype calling to any phone number
- Call Forwarding
- Group video chats
Skype allows you to either access their premium features on a pay as you go basis or as a low cost subscription for only $4.99 per month. Click here to view their premium options.
My best friend and I love to video chat. We are constantly calling each other at random times during the day to share things that happen to us. It’s nice that we can use Skype on our mobile phones and I can even call her while she is on her iPad so we don’t have to be on the computer all the time.
The group video chat feature is awesome. You can talk to up to 10 people at the same time! This feature is handy for our family because I have two brothers and we can all hop on a call from different locations to video chat. It is also great for chatting with my fellow bloggers when we are getting ready to plan new events together!
With Skype Credit you can purchase your own phone number for any of your family and friends to call you on from their local numbers. This is a fantastic feature when you own your own business. It allows you to take incoming calls from your customers and not have to use your personal cell phone number or minutes. Check out all of the great things that you can do with Skype, including demos of the features here.
Do you use Skype to keep connected? What is your favorite feature?
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Skype. I received Skype credits to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.