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Frequently Asked Questions about Skype

Skype is free software which, loaded on your PC or Mac, will allow you to make voice only or voice and video desktop-to-desktop calls to another Skype user. You will need a webcam, microphone and speakers or headphones to use Skype. In order to use Skype, after you install the software you need to register a name for yourself on the Skype site. Calls between Skype users are free. For an extra payment to Skype calls can be made to land-line or mobile phones.

FAQs for Skype on PCs running the INSRV image

INSRV has provided a utility which will install Skype on managed PC workstations even when you do not have Administrator rights. The FAQs below will help you with queries which you may have about the service we offer. 

More detailed technical support is available from the Skype website, or you can log an INSRV Service Desk call.

 

Installing Skype

Where can I find the Cardiff University Skype software?

 Navigate through Start > Networked Applications > General Software > Internet, Web & Email and click on Skype 4.2 Installer. The installer will run, installing the software and putting an icon on your desktop.

How do I run the Cardiff University Skype software?

Double click the icon and Skype will start, connecting you to the Skype site. If you have a Skype account just login. If not, register yourself.

What Skype name shall I choose when I register with Skype?

If you want to use Skype to communicate with colleagues in Cardiff University or other institutions then consider using a recognisable name so they can find you easily on Skype.

Can I use Skype to chat to friends over the University network?

Cardiff University provides IT facilities to its staff and students to support its research, learning, teaching and other goals. Reasonable private use is allowed and this applies to using Skype. When using any of the IT services you should be aware that your use is covered by the University and INSRV Regulations and Acceptable Use Policies.

When I double click the Skype icon nothing happens / Skype crashes / there is an error message. Help!

Contact the INSRV Service Desk who will help you work through the Skype support website.

 

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Video problems

What webcam and microphone should I use?

 Some monitors come with a built-in camera and microphone. If you need to buy a webcam or microphone choose a good brand and check with the vendor that it will work with Skype before buying.

I don't have Administrator rights, how do I install a webcam?

Ask someone who has, like your Local Computing Representative or Departmental IT Technician, to help you install the camera.

Skype starts up but the webcam is not working. What should I do?

Make sure the camera is plugged in. In Skype, click on Tools > Options > Video settings. This should bring up a window showing what the camera 'sees'. If that does not appear then contact the INSRV Service Desk who will work through the online Skype support entries with you.

If you still have a problem then you will be advised to contact your Departmental IT Technician or the INSRV IT Clinic (located on the first floor of the Student's Union) for advice on the hardware.

 

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Sound problems

When I make a call the person at the other end can't hear me. What should I do?

Make sure the microphone is plugged in and switched on. In Skype, click on the Echo / Sound Test Service. This records something you say and plays it back to you. If you don't hear anything then go to Tools > Options > Audio settings.  Check that Skype is using the correct microphone device (some PCs have more than one sound device – the one selected may not be the one the microphone is plugged into).

A Skype idiosyncrasy is that it can 'forget' the microphone device. This is easily fixed by going into Tools > Options > Audio settings and clicking on the microphone device.

If you still have a problem then contact INSRV Service Desk who will work through the Skype support entries with you. If problems persist you will be advised to contact your Departmental IT Technician or the INSRV IT Clinic (located on the first floor of the Student's Union) for advice on the hardware.

When I make a call I can't hear the person at the other end. What should I do?

Make sure the speakers are plugged in, switched on and the volume is adjusted properly (it happens!). Run the Skype Echo / Sound Test Service to check out speaker volume. Make sure the person you are talking to has their microphone switched on.

If you still have a problem then contact INSRV Service Desk.

 

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FAQs For Skype on laptops, Windows PCs without the INSRV image and Macs

On your own workstation you can install the necessary hardware and software to use Skype. The FAQs below will help you with simple queries which you may have. More detailed technical support is available from the Skype website, or you can log an INSRV Service Desk call.

 

Installing Skype

Can I use Skype to chat to friends over the University network?

Cardiff University provides IT facilities to its staff and students to support its research, learning, teaching and other goals. Reasonable private use is allowed and this applies to using Skype. When using any of the IT services you should be aware that your use is covered by the University and INSRV regulations and acceptable use policies.

Where can I find Skype software?

Point your browser at the Skype website and click on Download. Select your operating system and click on Download Now.

Is Skype easy to install?

Yes it is. To help you some guidance information is available in the related resources on this page for Windows and Mac users.

Are there restrictions on installing and using Skype?

In order to provide a good service to you and other Skype users and to help INSRV support you, Skype should be set up as described in the guide included in the related resources section. This includes using the network port specified in the guide.

What Skype name shall I choose when I register with Skype?

If you want to use Skype to communicate with colleagues in Cardiff University or other institutions then consider using a recognisable name so they can find you easily on Skype.

When I try to run Skype nothing happens / Skype crashes / there is an error message. Help!

Contact the INSRV Service Desk who will help you work through the Skype support website.

 

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Video Problems

What webcam and microphone should I use?

Some monitors come with a built-in camera and microphone. If you need to buy a webcam or microphone choose a good brand and check with the vendor that it will work with Skype before buying.

Skype starts up but the webcam is not working. What should I do?

Make sure the camera is plugged in. In Skype, click on Tools > Options > Video settings. This should bring up a window showing what the camera 'sees'. If that does not appear then contact the INSRV Service Desk who will work through the Skype support entries with you.

If you still have a problem then you will be advised to contact your Departmental IT Technician or the INSRV IT Clinic (located on the first floor of the Students' Union) for advice on the hardware.

 

Back to top

 


 

Sound problems

When I make a call the person at the other end can't hear me. What should I do?

Make sure the microphone is plugged in and switched on. In Skype click on the Echo / Sound Test Service. This records something you say and plays it back to you. If you don't hear anything then go to Tools > Options> Audio settings. Check that Skype is using the correct microphone device (some PCs have more than one sound device – the one selected may not be the one the microphone is plugged into).

A Skype idiosyncrasy is that it can 'forget' the microphone device. This is easily fixed by going into Tools > Options > Audio settings and clicking on the microphone device.

If you still have a problem then contact INSRV Service Desk who will work through the Skype support entries with you. If problems persist you will be advised to contact your Departmental IT Technician or the INSRV IT Clinic (located on the first floor of the Student's Union) for advice on the hardware.

When I make a call I can't hear the person at the other end. What should I do?

Make sure the speakers are plugged in, switched on and the volume is adjusted properly. Run the Skype Echo / Sound Test Service to check out speaker volume. Make sure the person you are talking to has their microphone switched on. 

If you still have a problem then contact INSRV Service Desk.

 

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