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 Zennstr├Âm 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…


Author: RJ Thomas

RJ Thomas is an International Relationship Builder. He was born in South Africa, and moved to China in 2013.

  • remco

    i forgot my skype password, what should i do?

  • Jennifer Myburgh

    I have got a 3Gvodacome card how must I download

  • Sandy


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

  • 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.

  • 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 .

    • 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?

  • 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.



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

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • neo.maponyane


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

    please reply via my email

  • Pingback: The Skype message is loud and clear | The Big Change()

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • Barryman

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