• Skype calls from computer to computer
  • Skype Out calls to landline or mobile phones
  • Skype In calls from phones to your computer

With over 663 million users worldwide, Skype is undoubtedly one of the most popular communications platforms online. Skype offers instant messaging and voice chat features allowing users to connect from any location with Internet access. 

Skype brings several significant advantages to both personal and business communication, depending on how it’s used. The best part is Skype is free. This means you can test it yourself without paying anything.

The first thing you’ll want is a new computer, capable of running at good speeds. Secondly, you’ll need an internet connection of at least 12Mbps. You’ll want a faster speed internet plan if you want higher quality video calls without interruptions. Then, all you have to do is download the free Skype application off of the internet, which should only take a matter of minutes.

Skype’s bandwidth requirements depend on the type of calls you are going to make. Here’s the official reference for the recommended speeds for best Skype performance.

Call type

Minimum download/upload speed

Recommended download/ upload speed


30kbps / 30kbps

100kbps / 100kbps

Video calling/Screen sharing

128kbps / 128kbps

300kbps / 300kbps

Video calling (high-quality)

400kbps / 400kbps

500kbps / 500kbps

Video calling (HD)

1.2Mbps / 1.2Mbps

1.5Mbps / 1.5Mbps

Group video (3 people)

512kbps / 128kbps

2Mbps / 512kbps

Group video (5 people)

2Mbps / 128kbps

4Mbps / 512kbps

Group video (7+ people)

4Mbps / 128kbps

8Mbps / 512kbps

Skype calls from computer to computer

Skype calls are phone calls that run over the internet. It is a form of VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, which can be performed on any internet-capable device such as computers and mobile. If your smartphone has 4G mobile wireless internet capabilities, it can also make and receive these free calls even if you’re not at home. Skype has a mobile app which can easily connect to your mobile broadband service.

What makes Skype different from other VoIP connections is you don’t need to have a telephone handset. What you do need is a microphone to speak through, and speakers to hear the person you’re talking to. Often the best option is a headset that incorporates a microphone next to your mouth and a hearing piece for listening into one device. However, if you are in a quiet place with little background noise you may be able to make audio and even video calls just by talking to your computer screen.

You can have a video conversation for free with friends, family, or colleagues on the other side of the world! How cool is that?

Skype Out calls to landline or mobile phones

Another great Skype function commonly used by people is Skype Out. Here you have to pay a small fee, but you can call actual telephone numbers from your computer/mobile phone screen. When you call landlines, the rates for calls are incredibly cheap, so this is often the best option for people who want to make international calls, but don’t have access to a phone, or who want to save a lot of money. Skype Out calls are much cheaper than using your landline phone.

Skype In calls from phones to your computer

Skype In is where you pay to have a local phone number in your hometown, but then live overseas or interstate. Instead of people having to call you with international or STD call rates, they can simply call your VoIP phone number, which goes straight to your computer. The fee for having your own number isn’t very much, yet people a world away will be able to casually talk with you as if you were down the street in the same neighbourhood.

Using a professional VoIP service to use your telephone handset over the internet

Some people want to make phone calls over the internet using their telephone handset. For this scenario Skype won’t be a viable option. However, there are several Australian VoIP providers who can offer you this service. Engin (1300 121 064), Club Telco (1300 138 155) and SpinTel (1300 381 277) can all provide you with VoIP-only plans, which you can use if you have a broadband internet connection.

Other major NBN and internet providers can also add this type of VoIP service to their basic internet connection for a small extra fee. Give us a call at Compare Broadband to find out the most competitive deals currently on the market.