In this blog I’ll be discussing some of the benefits of using certain software and mobile apps that allows you to communicate with your family, friends and work colleagues for free.

The first of these is Skype.  This has been about for just over 10 years and since 2011 it is now part of Microsoft.  Skype uses voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology to allow you to communicate over the internet for free.  Before you start to call distant relatives around the world, the first thing you need to be aware of is that both parties need to have software installed on the respective computers and if you want to see them then a web cam also needs to be installed.

I have been using Skype for about 8 years and it is very easy to use.  Skype is also available for many smartphone operating systems, such Android, iOS and Blackberry 10.

First download the software on your device fromhttp://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/

Once the software is installed on your device, the next stage is to add your profile, this will allow others see you, depending on your privacy settings. Next add contacts that also have Skype.  You most likely need to search for them, alternatively, if you know their Skype name then use this to add them as a contact. You are now ready to make your first free Skype call, whether it be just audio or video.

My daugther was interviewed for a job in Sydney, Australia over Skype earlier this year, saved her the airfare.

Another method of free audio communications is using a smartphone app called Viber and works on many smartphones handsets.  Viber also uses VoIP and is mainly audio communication.  Like Skype, in order to make free calls, both parties need to have the app installed and have a WiFi connection available on the handset.  I find using Viber useful when I’m abroad as many hotels and resorts have complimentary free WiFi for their guests.  Viber can be downloaded fromhttp://www.viber.com/.

Another free app for your smartphone is called WhatsApp, which is IMS type of communication, allowing you to send text, pictures and movies over the internet.  Like the above 2 applications, the both devices need to have the app installed in order for it to work and have a WiFi connection.  You can download WhatsApp onto your handset from http://www.whatsapp.com/download/.

There are other applications that will provide you with free communications, but these are just the ones that I use on a daily basis. Like with many things there are limitations to using these applications, but as long as you use them in the right way then you can keep your costs down.

I keep in touch with family members in the Australia, United States and India using any of the above apps on a regular basis, the only draw back is dealing with the time difference.

If you need further advice on how to use the applications or how to install them please give me a call on 0800 999 5488.

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