What is Skype?

Skype is a computer application that is used to make free Internet-based phone calls to other computers with Skype installed on them.   It uses peer-to-peer (P2P) networking protocols.

Skype is not a traditional phone system, and is not intended to replace a landline phone. Skype cannot be used to call any emergency services—there is no access to emergency 911 service. In an emergency you must use a landline phone to call 911.

How to get Skype

Skype can be installed on Library staff workstations (Windows only) by Library IT staff.   Please log an OTRS ticket to request Skype for your desktop PC. Because Skype has a supernode feature that cannot be disabled on Mac computers, Library IT does not install Skype on Macs.

When the supernode feature is not disabled, Skype allows the computer to act as a network directory, facilitating communication among other Skype users and impacting network bandwidth sometimes to the point of degrading use for an entire building.

The Library IT loanable equipment pool has five head sets with microphones which can be borrowed for use with Skype.  These devices are thoroughly sanitized after each use.

Using Skype

On Library staff workstations, Skype may be used only for Skype-to-Skype communication about Library-related matters.  University and Library policy prohibit its use for private business.   Connections from Skype to landline phone services incur charges which the Library cannot cover.

Launch the Skype application only when you need to use it.   Do not leave it running in the background.  If you are expecting an incoming call, coordinate it through other means. (e.g. email, instant messages, etc.)   Turn the application OFF when the call is finished. 

To turn Skype off,  look for the icon in your system tray (down by the clock). Right click on this icon and a menu is displayed, choose quit.

Technology Services also offers instructions on how to contact Skype users through Lync.