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Skype for Windows

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 Windows Computer

Important: Skype must be version 3.8 or higher in order to work properly on the Dartmouth network.

Skype recommends the following for running on a Windows computer:

  • At least a 1 GHz processor; higher quality calls should have a dual-core processor.
  • Windows XP, Vista, or 7
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Internet connection
  • Speakers and microphone 
  • A webcam.

Steps to Install Skype on a Windows Computer

  1. Go to http://www.skype.com/ and click Get Skype Now. If you receive a security warning, click Accept.
  2. Click Run then I Agree - Install.
  3. Remove the check mark from the Include the free Google Toolbar along with Skype field then click Continue Installing Skype
  4. Click Start Skype.
  5. If you do not already have a Skype account, enter the information for your account, then click Next. You can enter whatever name you want for your Skype account, but it cannot be a name that someone 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. Also, when setting up your account, we recommend setting the City to Hanover. This will help other Skype users who are looking for your account name to find you. If you already have a Skype account, click Cancel.

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Configuring Skype on a Windows Computer

Privacy settings

Because Skype is a video conferencing tool, it can be set to allow calls to automatically come through - regardless of who they are from or what you are doing. Therefore, we recommend you make changes to these settings. To do this, click Tools, then Options then Privacy. Make sure the Only allow people in my contact list to contact me field is selected.

Next, click Show Advanced options. Make sure the people in my contact list only selection is checked in the top three sections. Click Save.

Call History Log

To change the amount of time that information regarding who you called in retained in your Skype call logs, click Tools, then Options then Privacy. Change the Keep History for field to 2 Weeks then click Save

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Using Skype with a Windows Computer

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 kpbs. Due to this, video calls on slow (dial-up) connections may not work well.
  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.

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.

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.

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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Using Skype with an iPhone or iPod Touch

Skype has an iPhone app that can be downloaded to your iPhone or iPod Touch. This would allow you to use your iPod Touch as a phone on the wireless network. See http://www.skype.com/download/skype/iphone/ for additional information. 

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Last Updated: 10/15/13