Thursday, March 15, 2007

Top 10 Skype Hacks

People like tops! Articles such as “Top 10 gadgets of all time”, “The most useful software” etc. will always make to the first page of social websites such as Digg.

In this article I’ll show you the top 10 Skype hacks:

1. Running multiple instances of Skype on the same computer

This is one of the most requested features not only by Skype users, but also by other voice and IM applications users. For instance you may have a Skype Work account and a Personal account and normally you want to communicate with peoples from both lists in the same time. Until this feature will be supported by Skype you may use one of the following workaround.

2. Run a small customer support center using only Skype

One of the least used features of Skype is its ability to register simultaneous from multiple locations. Although this feature may say nothing to a home user, a small call-center business can make use of it by implementing the call-center business using Skype.

3. Disguising your Voice

By using Voice Changer software you tweak your speaking voice in real time by adding echos and other sound effects. Find out more from this article.

4. Integrating Skype in a SIP PBX

PBXes should not scary anymore. As showed by this article even Windows users can setup in less than 20 minutes a full feature PBX with unlimited extensions, voice mail and call attendant. Skype can be integrated very easily in such setup by using free software from NCH Swift Sound as described by this article.

5. Call Skype contacts from mobile phone

You can do this by integrating Skype in your own PBX as described by previous hack, or by using an online service such as this one, or even by doing your own setup using a free piece of software called Vox for Skype.

6. Skype without a PC

Do you like Skype but you don’t like to be near the computer when making phone calls? There is good news for you: at least a few companies have launched Skype devices that don’t require a PC. The following article presents 2 of them.

7. Home Security System

You need 2 separate Skype account for this one. Put a webcam on an always on computer and setup Skype to automatically answer calls and fire up the webcam. To check in use the other Skype account to call in.

8. Skype wake-up call

Using Windows Task Scheduler create a new task that runs Skype executable according to your needs. In the Run box specify after the path to Skype.exe (usually "C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe") the following parameter: /callto:phonenumber where phonenumber is the number you wish to dial in international format. Also make sure that Skype is associated with callto: links in Sykpe options.

9. Offer abroad relative the chance to call you for free on your mobile phone

For only $29, your abroad relatives and friends can call you for free on your mobile phone. All you have to do is forward ("Tools" -> "Options" -> "Call Forwarding & Voicemail") your Skype account to your cell phone number. Your friends will only use their Skype instances.

10. Make money developing Skype voice services

If you are a developer you can develop Skype Tellme applications and charge the users according to your plan. Check this article for a starting point.

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