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Skype for Mac

Skype is a free Internet-based telephony product that enables users to make free Internet-based phone calls and to send instant messages. Skype is a peer-to-peer service, and the call quality will depend on where the other person is located and what device or network they are using. 

Warning: Do not use Skype to call emergency services. Unlike an ordinary telephone, Skype cannot automatically provide your location information to services such as 911.


Installing Skype on a Macintosh

  1. Go to http://www.skype.com/ and click Download Skype Now
  2. If a warning appears, click Continue.
  3. A Skype window should automatically open. Drag the Skype icon from that window to the applications folder on your computer.
  4. Drag the Skype drive from your desktop to the trash.
  5. Open your applications folder and double click Skype. If you already have a Skype name and password enter them in the corresponding fields. If you don't have a Skype account, click Don't have a Skype name?
  6. Enter the appropriate fields to create a Skype account, then click Create. You can enter whatever name you want for your Skype account, but it cannot be a name that anyone else has already set up at Skype. We recommend that your account name be reflective of you in some way as that is what will appear in the Contact list of people who call you. Once you have selected a unique name for your Skype account it will appear in the Skype window. Click on your name, then click Edit Profile. We recommend setting the City field to Hanover. This will help other Skype users who are looking for your account name to find you.
  7. In your list of contacts there is a "Skype Test Call" that has automatically been added. Click that contact then click Call. You will be prompted to record a message. If you then hear your recording played back to you, you have installed and configured Skype correctly.

Configuring Skype on a Macintosh

Privacy Settings

Click Skype from the menu bar, then Preferences then Privacy. We recommend you change the settings to only allow calls and chats from people in your Contacts list. This will require other users to send you a request to add them to your contacts, and give you the opportunity to view their profile and determine who they are before getting calls and/or chats from them.

Call History Log

Skype automatically maintains a log of all the calls you made. To view the log, click Call from the menu bar, then View Call Log. To clear the call log, click Call from the menu bar, then Clear Call Log

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Using Skype with a Macintosh

Skype can be used to call any other Skype users in the world at no charge. In order to use Skype, your computer needs to be connected to the Internet, the person you are trying to call needs to have their computer connected to the Internet, Skype needs to be running on both computers, and you need to have accepted the person as a contact. If the person you are trying to call does not have Skype currently running on their computer, they will not know you are trying to reach them.

Skype provides user guide's on their Web site for detailed information on how to use the product. See http://www.skype.com/help/guides/callwithvideo/

When you receive a request to add someone to your contacts list, before adding them to the list, try to verify that you actually know who they are. One way to do this is to right click (or Ctrl + Click on a Macintosh computer) on their name, then click View Profile. Check their location. If they've added a picture, their location, birth date, etc. use these to help confirm their identity.

Skype also offers other services for which they do charge. These include the ability to call land lines, call forwarding so that Skype doesn't need to be running on your computer, and voice mail. See http://www.skype.com/business/features/calling/ for more information on these services.

During a video conference with another Skype user, you also have the ability to allow the person with whom you are talking to see an application running on your computer. They would see a window with what your camera is currently focused on, then another window with the application window from your computer. To share your screen, after making the call, click the down arrow icon found in the lower right corner of the call window, then select Share your screen. If you want the person on the other end of your call to see everything that is currently displayed on your computer select Share Full Screen; if you only want them to see a single application select Share Selected.

Finding Skype User Names at Dartmouth

If you have a Skype account, you can enter that information into your DND record so that other people at Dartmouth can use the DND to find you rather than relying on Skype's worldwide directory.

To do this, log in to the Dartmouth Directory Manager at https://dartdm.dartmouth.edu/ using your Dartmouth user name and password. In the right hand navigation column, click DND Fields. Next, in the Additional Information box enter "skype:<username>" where <username> is your Skype user name. (e.g. skype:john.doe). Then click Change User Info. Now, whenever anyone looks you up in the DND at http://dndlookup.dartmouth.edu/ they will see your Skype user name.

In order to find the Skype user names of others at Dartmouth, go to http://dndlookup.dartmouth.edu/ and search for them. If they have added their Skype user name to their DND record it will appear in the Skype field.

Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Skype uses between 100 to 200 kbps of network bandwidth for video calls; voice only calls are only 5 to 8 kbps. Due to this, video calls on slow (dial-up) connections may be problematical.
  2. Your Internet service provider (ISP) may have blocked the port that Skype is trying to use to connect to your computer. From your Contacts list, select Echo/Sound Test Service then click Call. Skype will call a Skype number and play a recording for you. If you can hear this successfully, then Skype is installed correctly on your computer, and is working properly across your network.
  3. The quality of the camera affects the video. Lower quality cameras can suffer distortion or pixelation of the image. If you are experiencing these symptoms, try using a high quality camera.  

Reporting Skype Scams

To report scams directly to Skype, you need to be running Skype 4.0 or higher on a Windows computer, or Skype 2.8 or higher on a Macintosh computer.

When you get a contact request that is invalid, on a Windows computer, click Block, then check the Report abuse from this person and click Block. On a Macintosh computer, click Block this person from contacting you in the future, then check Report abuse from this person, then click Block.

To report someone who is sending you instant messages inappropriately, on a Windows computer, right click on them in the conversation pane, then click Block this person. Next, check Report abuse from this person and click Block. On a Macintosh computer, click Block, then check Report abuse from this person and click Block.

If you have inadvertently added someone that you don't know or don't want to your contacts list, simply right click on their name then click Remove from Contacts.

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Last Updated: 7/12/12