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Monday, January 31, 2011
How to Optimize Skype
Skype is a Voice-Over-Internet Protocol service that allows a user to make audio-only or audio-video calls to any other Skype member anywhere in the world. Since the service is free, if you have friends or family in another country, Skype can help you keep in touch without breaking the bank.
Skype also lets the user talk to multiple Skype members at the same time, or call cell phones or landlines from their Skype accounts for a fee.
Upgrade to a faster Internet connection. The quality of a Skype call relies on the Internet connection through which the call takes place, and if you have a slow Internet connection, you may experience transmission lags and unwanted noises in the audio feed. Most Internet service providers offer multiple options for Internet service, increasing in price as the service gets faster and more efficient. Upgrade to the next level, and it may improve your Skype calling experience.
Set your computer to optimal levels for your broadband Internet connection. According to VoIP-Sol, neither Windows nor Mac computers generally come ready optimized for a broadband connection.
The VoIP-Sol site suggests Broadband Optimizer for Mac systems and SG TCP Optimizer for Windows machines (see Resources).
Make sure you have the latest version of Skype installed on your computer. Regarding call quality, the official Skype website recommends upgrading to the most recent version of the software available for your specific system.
According to the Skype page, each release of Skype undergoes both video and audio upgrades, meaning that call quality improves every time you update.
Switch to wired Internet while making your Skype calls. As pointed out on the VoIP-Sol page, wireless Internet signals that can be blocked or interrupted are less reliable than wired signals that go directly to your computer.
You do not have to leave the Ethernet cord plugged in at all times. You can simply switch to wired when you want to improve call quality.
Get an HD webcam. Skype recognizes HD webcams, and upgrading from a standard camera to a high-quality camera, in most cases, immediately improves the quality of the video transmitted through the Skype service.
Stop downloads while you use Skype. According to VoIP-Sol, or downloading from the Internet puts a strain on the same data lines that the Skype service uses on your machine. Keeping those lines open lets data flow without obstruction.