How to use Skype and make VOIP calls for beginners in South Africa

My statusSkype allows users to make telephone calls from their computer to other Skype users free of charge, or to landlines and cell phones for a fee.

Unlike most other VOIP (Voice-over-Internet) software, Skype uses a peer-to-peer model, which is the most efficient way for transferring large amounts of data over the Internet, in a distributed method. An d so when a Skype user calls another for a voice call or video conference there no extra costs. Additional features include instant messaging, file transfer, SMS, video conferencing and its ability to circumvent firewalls.

Niklas Zennstrom Janus Friis Skype foundersEntrepreneurs Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis created Skype in 2002 with a vision of liberating consumers and businesses from the need to pay for talking to each other across the globe.

It’s easy because the user interface is intuitive i.e. easy to navigate and operates like a normal phone just on a computer screen.Skype is free to download and use from – you only pay if you want to call landlines and cellphones. You have to purchase Skype credits to make calls to landlines and cellphones. View this detailed comparison on Hellkom.

Some similar software include Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, which are both instant messaging clients with a voice calling options. But there are many, many others. Skype is superior because it uses the most efficient protocols on the Internet.

The fast your Internet connection, the better Skype words. Skype works exactly like a normal phone call from a landline and there almost no delays except when you are downloading large amounts of data from the Internet at the same time.

Basic Requirements for using Skype:

  1. All PCs, Macs will work using Windows or Linux
  2. Broadband Internet – ADSL, 3G, iBurst or MyWireless (Sentech).
  3. Mic and Speakers or Headset, laptops have them built in

You also get Skype phones that look and work like traditional phones in South Africa.

5 Simple Steps to get going with Skype:

  1. Buy a Computer/Laptop + Headset/Mic (laptops have built in mic/speakers)
  2. Get ADSL/broadband
  3. Download and install Skype
  4. Make a test call on Skype to ensure your mic/headset/speakers work
  5. Search for people, add them to your Contact, start calling!

Over 140 million users worldwide and ±9 million users online at the any given time.There is no actual number available from Skype. My friend Rudolph Muller from MyADSL estimates about 100,000 people or more.

There are some complaints about the technical side of Skype as part of the peer-to-peer technology certain users can become supernodes. And this will consumer more bandwidth, unknowingly to the user. Another complaint is the customer service is bad because there is no direct way to call them. You have to use the websites for all problems.

Skype is extremely safe and secure. Patches are released on a regular basis whenever there is a security problem. Since calls are free to other Skype users there is very little incentive to “hack” Skype accounts.

Any more questions about Skype? I’m happy to answer them…

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No Responses to “How to use Skype and make VOIP calls for beginners in South Africa”

  1. <path_to_url> Jean Winger

    I will be travelling to Cape Town South Africa after Christmas. I will be renting or buying a cell phone. If I want to use skype would I be advised to buy a skype brand cell phone for when I don’t have access to a computer?

    We just got a foot of snow overnight here in Southern Ontario Canada,

    Jean Winger

  2. <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

    You can use software called Fring to connect with your Skype, MSN, Google Talk and other accounts. I know other people using it in Cape Town but I have yet to test it. Please give it a try and let me know.

  3. <path_to_url> corney visser

    I owned a skype phone. Idid not own a credit card. I am staying and working ic Cape Town, South Africa. Where can I buy skype credit, and what must I do in order to get skype credits. Please advice me, because Idid not own a credit card. Thank you in advance. Hope to get positve feedback soon.

  4. <path_to_url> Thabiso

    How does one purchase Skype credits when they do not have a credit card but are able to afford it? I am in Johannesburg – South Africa.

  5. <path_to_url> Garth

    How does skype compare in costs compared to ther voip solutions offered in South Africa.By this i mean buying credits and calling cell phones and land lines.
    It looks more expensive

  6. <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

    In South Africa you can now get what’s called a Cheque Card from FNB. This operates exactly the same as a VISA credit card with the credit or the high interest rates.

    Anyway with a cheque card, which is available from other South African banks like Nedbank or Standard Bank, and I’m sure ABSA has a variation on it as well, you can now purchase Skype credits or anything else on the Web in the same way you would normally have done using a credit card.

    This cheque card is NOT the same as a debit card, which ONLY works making payments via point-of-sale and required your PIN. So I highly recommend you upgrade your cheque account ATM card to one of these instead of a debit card. And avoid getting traditional credit cards because of the very high interest rates. The major benefit is that with a cheque card you can never go into credit. You only get to spend what’s available in your cheque account.

  7. <path_to_url> Michelle Barnardt

    Good day ,
    I have installed Skype and also bought telephone time.
    Having Skype’s banking details on my beneficiaries I accidently transferred a amount of R1900 (SA Rands) on 31 March
    Who should I contact to have this refunded as I have not even heard anything from Skype about this payment
    Thank you Michelle Tel 082 872 8035

  8. <path_to_url> Ryan Nel

    Skype uses Global Collect to collect international EFT/Direct Deposit Payments (Including from South Africa). On the payment page (link to SkypeOUT Credit Purchases Page is available on the homepage) you can select Direct Deposit/Global Collect as a payment method – you will then receive an order confirmation with ABSA Bank details into which you can do the deposit. This method can however take up to 10 days whereas Credit Card Payments are instant.

    Hope this is of assistance

  9. <path_to_url> muthuuuuuuuuu

    hocan i save skype software in the disk in order to install skype in my friend computer

  10. <path_to_url> Dineo

    I have just tested my soind devices to see if it works and it does. I have also downloaded skype and gone through the proces of opening a new account. However the last step of “signing in” does not seem to go through. I get a screen that shows that the process is underway but then it returns me to the open new account window again. Not showing if this process is indeed finalised.

    I hope you can help me so that I can start communicating with friends abroad on skype.



  11. <path_to_url> shayne

    HELP !

    I have got all above requirements, have skype credit etc. I am able to call my father in Denmark using skype ( he also has skype ) however, he cannot call me ( I can see he is trying to call as it comes up but no ringing etc ) I have had a computor person in to help and was unable to assist ! I don`t know what to do fm here. also, how do I get a number in SA so that people can call me from their land lines or cell phones ?

  12. <path_to_url> Deon

    Will I be able to use skype on a normal voice fax modem and normal telkom line with internet acess ?

  13. <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

    Hey Deon the sad answer is NO because a “normal voice/fax modem” from a normal Telkom line is just to slow. The problem with that type of Internet connection is that it costs you double: Telkom line rental + Internet calls because every time you dial-up to the Internet you are also making a call.

    I highly, highly recommend the Telkom Closer 4 or 5 packages because you can get your line rental, voice mail and 1,000 free minutes with you choice of ADSL broadband. Give it a try and please let me know.

  14. <path_to_url> shayne

    am still waiting for an answer re my request…. pse help ??

  15. <path_to_url> waleed

    hey wat up i need to find out were do i get hold of skype credits in south afica some1 please help

  16. <path_to_url> Tania Wright

    Please could someone contact me. I would like to find out about getting Skype.

    Thanking You
    Tania Wright
    Cell: 0825942699

  17. <path_to_url> Sebastian Pistor

    Hi, when I try to follow the abovementioned steps, I do not get further than step 4. When I click on the link in step 4, I am taken to another web page with the following message:

    Testing Your Sound Setup
    To test your sound set up in any version of Skype, use the testing robot “echo123” – just click here to call. You can even add it to your contacts. This way, you can try a test call any time to check your headset, speakers and/or microphone are working properly.

    When I click on “echo 123” to make a test call, I always get the fault message “The web page you have requested is not available.” How do I solve this problem? Thank you

  18. <path_to_url> John Ballard

    I recentky got a Skype hone.
    When I ses a Skype insignia (RSA flag and a green circle) and click on the number, I am charged for the call. Why? Skype to Skype is supposed to be free.
    When I say click on the number, it is a landline number for a business, in this case!

  19. <path_to_url> Papi

    HI! I am using my phone as a modem to connect to the internet, Will it work? Is it fast enough to use it on skype.

  20. <path_to_url> Karin

    We have Diginet to our ISP in Ctn and our other branches have ADSL. how would we connect Skype to use our internet connection via the network on certain machines to access our Jhb branch via our VPN diginet to ISP to VPN through ADS to Jhb.

  21. <path_to_url> elizabeth de graaf

    I don’t have a credit card and would like to know how to get hold of Skype Credit and what do I do from there?

  22. <path_to_url> Estelle

    Hi – I live on a farm in Mpumalanga South Africa – using the cell phone as a modem – we get a GPRS signal – is this fast enough

  23. <path_to_url> Mat

    I received a Skype phone for Christmas form my mother in the uk( i think she wants me to call her more) I live in South Africa, but i cannot register when i press the skype button on the phone. I need some advise please.Do i need to have credit on the phone to connect? Can i change the card inside the phone from 3 Nework in th uk to either Vodacom or MTN? Any help please!

  24. <path_to_url> Paul

    Hi Estelle,

    A little late to reply, but no GRPS is not fast enough. Edge is not good enough either. You need 3G.

  25. <path_to_url> Mia

    I want to get skype to communicate with people in Australia, but i was told that I have to use a Telkom landline, and will be fined a rediculous amount if I get caught using me 3G enabled cellphone. This is the only internet access I’ve got.
    Is this true?

  26. <path_to_url> Natasha

    Hi,Im using my Vodafone 3G to connect to the internet.You advertise that SKYPE to SKYPE is FREE!!!!!!! I received an account from Vodacom for R3000.00???? according to them (vodacom) i will have to pay for using skype. how can you advertise then that its free

  27. <path_to_url> Richard Morrison

    1. How well does Skype work when video conferencing for five sites?

    2. What web cam should one buy to ensure a resonable quality of picture and sound?

    3. What does video conferencing cost in comparison with telcom charges?

  28. <path_to_url> Rika Fourie

    Is there any way in which I can incorporate a fax facility via skype?

  29. <path_to_url> viven

    Hi Please can someone contact me or provide me with contact details as i would like explore the functions of skype and if possible purchase data list.

  30. <path_to_url> carol

    i cant get skype with using my cell phone pay as you go i am with vodacom what do i do

  31. <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

    Skype can only be used on a PC running Windows, Mac OS or Linux. I am not aware of any Skype software that runs on any mobile phone. What you can try is something called Fring. Fring allows you to access Skype, MSN Messenger and other IM clients from your phone.

  32. <path_to_url> Mohamed

    Hi, when you skype does it use up your data bundle(bytes, megabytes)? and if so how much data does it use for a 1 minute call?

  33. <path_to_url> Speedpig

    Skype will never be a success in South Africa due to the cost of international bandwidth. You need international Bandwith to log into Skype although I understand the communication is peer to peer. Is there maybe a local Skype server to authenticate against , otherwise Skype is useless for me due to the ripp-off cost of international bandwidth

  34. <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

    Skype already is a success because I’ve been using it for years. Since it first appeared on the cover of Fortune magazine. So please do not exaggerate the impact of high bandwidth costs. I have also been a ADSL client since it was introduced and the prices have come down every year that I have been a client. Nothing ever stays the same. Wake up and smell the coffee…

  35. <path_to_url> F.Nickall

    I have been a subscriber with top up facility of 10 Euros for the past two years. Recently I have not been able to do this and must go through Webmoney . How does one do this

  36. <path_to_url> ntakadzeni

    i have installed skype but the problem is to buy skype credit and i dont want to have a credit card please i want to use it help me to buy the airtime .

    • <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

      Go to any of the banks like FNB or ABSA and get a Cheque Card. It works exactly like a credit card. The money is deducted from your cheque account – so there is no interest and when you do not have money in your cheque account, the transaction cannot be processed. This is a better card to use than the debit cards that are no so common. Debit cards DO NOT WORK on the Internet when doing online shopping, especially with overseas companies that list their fees in Euros or US Dollar. Keep that in mind when doing any kind of online shopping whether for real world goods like electronics or services like Skype.

  37. <path_to_url> Natalie

    Since loading Skype on my MacBook, my Vodacom 3G no longer wants to work on my Mac. When clicking on the icon to connect the modem it freezes and I have to do a force quit to close it. Do I need to reload the 3G software again? I tested the 3G on my pc and it works fine so nothing wrong with the modem. I think there is a conflict between Skype and the 3G. Any suggestions on how I can fix this please? Thank you

  38. <path_to_url> Jady

    Skype is NOT FREE!!!!!! when you use your Vodaphone as a modem. Within half an hour of talking Skype to Skype, I used 200 Mb of my internet data bundles! Beware! It should NOT be advertised as Free …. it’s perhaps a case for the Competition Commission

  39. <path_to_url> Skype Icons

    Is skype going to be used on the new Ipad ? something interesting to get into for the network savy people.
    I use the skype mobile at the moment and there are no faults as yet.

  40. <path_to_url> farai

    Ramon Thomas are you com-paining for skype.Skype is not free and will never be. Natasha is better informed and says the true the the world .

  41. <path_to_url> carmen

    i live in uk and my folks are in phone bills are ridiculous and a pc for my folks is out of the question (theyre technologically challenged). i want to buy them a skype phone,do they need one for their landline or a mobile. whats the next step as i need credit or will calls be free. is this only from my side or is theirs free as well?

    • <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

      The Skype Phone works like a normal phone and plugs into a network connection from your ISP. The best is to contact an ISP in South Africa like MWEB or Telkom Internet.

  42. <path_to_url> Jon

    Hi, is it possible to call a land line or cell phone in south africa from the USA using a computer and skype software?

  43. <path_to_url> Heidi

    I’m clueless. I use Skype 4.1. I have a Telkom ADSL line and a built-in webcam in my laptop. My ADSL shows it runs on Local Area connection at 100.0 Mbps and on Wireless at 54.0 Mbps. How much bandwidth would I use making a voice call to another Skype user – is it the same locally and internationally? And how about video calls? How much bandwidth would I use there? Someone, please help?! I’m totally lost. I’m a English/ Afrikaans Tutor: one-on-one or small groups – and I need to start using Skype to survive. Travelling from student to student or group to group is a terrible waste of time and petrol. Thanks so much. ‘Live Life Passionately’.

  44. <path_to_url> Adamu Nuhu

    i was a registered member of this and i have learned so much and i want to renew my membership.

  45. <path_to_url> edwin mtisi kaba

    i also need skype airtime where can i get it. i dont have a visa card can i get it over the counter or what

    • <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

      You can try using Paypal now that its available in South Africa. You can link an FNB bank account with Paypal and make payments to most of the ecommerce sites in the world.

  46. <path_to_url> remco

    i forgot my skype password, what should i do?

  47. <path_to_url> Jennifer Myburgh

    I have got a 3Gvodacome card how must I download

  48. <path_to_url> Sandy


    how does it work to skype to a mobile phone? and what are the rates?

  49. <path_to_url> Don Noehr

    I understand that some seems to believe that they are charged for using Skype from South Africa for communication with people in other countries!
    That is only the case if you have deposited money on your Skype account, and are using Skype to make calls to landlines or cell-phones! You can read more about that on Skypes homepage.
    If your internet provider is charging you per minute or per Megabit for your internet connection, then of course it will have a price, but if your internet provider, as it is normally the my country – Denmark, offers you unlimited internet at a fixed price, then Skype really is free – as long as communication is between two or more computers.

  50. <path_to_url> Bill

    Here in South Africa , skype is definately not free , the vidoe streaming that is , I talk daily to my fiance in the U S on skype , and works out to nearly R 2000, 00 per month . Quite expensive , but woth it . Im using an MTN mode , and have now switched over to Telkom adsl .

    • <path_to_url> Sandy

      How often do you talk to your fiance in the US and how long does each call last? Are you using the webcam for the calls?

  51. <path_to_url> Michael Thompson

    Hi Where do I find the Region selection drop down menu. FAQ tells me to look for the Globe and I do not see the Globe on my screen.

  52. <path_to_url> farid.rabin58

    I sign in but cant seem to get to the dial pad

  53. <path_to_url> KG

    I have a close friend in UK and I assume I need Skype to access her regularly. I use Vodacom on Nokia E71. What is it I need to do practically to get Skype and how much does it cost.

  54. <path_to_url> Karen.Steyn

    Hi.. When i downlaoded skype for the first time, i had no problems. Then my laptop had a problem and had to be restored to factory settings. Then the skype problem started, when i tried getting my skype back..kept on saying ‘Skype has stopped working’, I just couldn’t sign in.. Computer guy did something again, it worked for a while, then stopped working again. Now when i try opening it, it wants me to create a new skype account, but I already have one. What can i do? Please help…

  55. <path_to_url> Olivia Jarratt

    I am retired at home. I do have adsl. I am on skype. Is it cheaper to phone my friends with telkom? I dont use my phone in the day only after 7 in the evening. If I bought skype credit what will the price be in Rands and cents by the min OR for me to buy credit for a month. If I dont use all my credit in a month will it be tranfered to the following month. To phone someone on their cell I believe it costs more. Not all my friends have skype. Mostly landlines a few cell.

  56. <path_to_url> neo.maponyane


    guys i need credit and i dont have a bank what should i do?

    please reply via my email

  57. <path_to_url> Deryk Bayman

    I have got skype and am able to talk to friends.For a start I would like to be able to see the person I am talking to. I have a camera but for some reason cannot get it to operate. I can see my friends.

    • <path_to_url> Ramon Thomas

      Deryk there is so many factors with Skype Video calls. The best is to get a technical friend to look at it or take it to y our nearest computer shop. Alternatively you may check if the built-in camera works using Windows Movie Maker and other software.

  58. <path_to_url> Barryman

    can someone tell me the cost of Skype to Skype calls in south africa


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