Skype is the world's number one internet calling service, but you can do much more with it than just make cheap calls. We reveal all here
1 Run multiple Skype accounts
If you have Windows XP Pro, you can create and run more than one copy of Skype on your computer. This lets you switch between accounts, or even chat to yourself. To do this you will need at least one other Windows account (go to Start, Control Panel, User Accounts). Load Skype as normal, then right-click the Skype shortcut and select Run As… Enter the user name and password of the other account and a second version of Skype will load.
2 Call forwarding
People can still phone you even when you're not using Skype. By setting the Call Forwarding option you can have any incoming calls transferred to a phone of your choosing (your caller will be charged at the standard SkypeOut rate). In fact you can set up to three phones in the software – home, work and mobile perhaps - and they will all ring simultaneously until one is answered. To turn this feature on go to Tools, Call Forwarding.
3 Video calling
If you have a webcam you can use the new Skype Video Calling feature. Turn this on by going to Tools, Options, Video (BETA). You can choose who to receive video from and also set whether your video output will begin automatically when you start a call, or when you choose the option manually.
4 Create call-specific ringtones
Ringjacker is an add-on available for free with Skype 3.0. Using it you can set a ringtone that your friends will hear when you call them. Your friends will need to also have the plug-in installed. To set it up go to Tools, Do More, Launch Ringjacker.
5 Add voicemail
If you subscribe to Skype's voicemail system callers can leave you messages.
Go to Tools, Voicemail and click the Subscribe Now link. The service costs £3.45 for 3 months or £11.50 for the year. You can fully personalise your voicemail greeting.
6 Send text messages
You can use Skype to send SMS texts to any mobile phone. Go to Tools,
Send SMS Message. Add a contact's mobile number, then type and send the message. Texts aren't free and your caller will receive them from a truncated version of your Skype name, meaning they won't be able to reply. However, you can change this by entering and verifying your mobile number. Do this under Tools, Options, SMS Messages.
7 Join and launch Skypecasts
Skypecasts are live public conversations. You can join one, or start your own. To join a call click the Live tab and select one. You can talk or simply listen. If you wish to create your own Skypecast go to https://skypecasts.skype.com/skypecasts/home.
8 Install the Skype toolbar
You can download a free toolbar which will work with Internet Explorer or Firefox. With this installed you can call any number on a web page with a single click. Get it from www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/download/skypewebtoolbar.
9 Record Skype calls
If you want to have a permanent record of a call go to Tools, Do More, Record Calls with Pamela. With this free plug-in installed every time you make or receive a call you will have the option of recording it. Recording time is limited to 15 minutes and the person you're speaking to will be informed that their conversation is being recorded.
10 Use CrazyTalk avators
If you want to video chat to your friends but feel a little subconscious in front of the camera, you can hide behind a video avatar. The animated character will match your expressions and lip sync with you as you talk. To install the feature go to Tools, Do More, CrazyTalk Video Avatar.