Christmas crackers: Skype

Forget phone calls, Skype lets you place video call via your PC.

Christmas is all about family and friends, but it is often not possible to get together with everyone you would like. If you're missing someone and want to keep in touch over the festive season, there's no better way to do it than with Skype.

The program shows just how far communication tools have come in recent years, making it possible to conduct not only text-based chats online, but also phone calls and video calls.

The best experience comes when you connect with other Skype users, as this opens up the opportunity to conduct multi-user video chats; this gives family spread around the world the chance to get together in a single conversation window.

But Skype can also be used to place calls to regular landlines. Whether you want to chat with a friend in the next town, an uncle at the other end of the country, or a sibling on the other side of the world, making calls through Skype is usually significantly cheaper than placing a regular landline call.

With versions of the software available for desktop Windows, Windows 8 and a host of mobile devices, Skype makes it easier than ever to keep in touch with the ones you love.

Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson
Staff writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

You can find her on Facebook (opens in new tab), Twitter (opens in new tab) and Mastodon (opens in new tab).