Section 6.12. Troubleshooting

6.12. Troubleshooting

Most help requests revolve around sound quality. Cheap headsets are better than computer speakers with a microphone, but they aren't great. If you can't get a headset, see if an old pair of headphones from a portable CD player can replace your computer speakers during calls, because that will help considerably. But good headsets with a built-in microphone offer the best sound quality.

There may be a reason SkypeOut support appears at the top of the Skype "Getting Help for Skype" page on their web site. When you can't get satisfaction, especially when dealing with Moneybookers, join many others with similar tales of woe in the Skype Forums. It won't solve your problem, but at least you won't feel alone.

Skype does an excellent job using animation on their web site to help new users configure Skype and their computers to support Skype. Go to to start one of the dozen animations and see for yourself how to handle configuration issues.

The primary Skype support forum ( includes thousands of user questions. I can't decide if it's good that so many people go to the source to find solutions, or if it's bad because so many people have trouble. But Skype claims over 20 million registered users, so a few thousand messages in the help forum constitutes a tiny user percentage.

Windows computers support the vast majority of Skype clients. Windows can be a rather, um, interesting support issue itself (see many Windows support and troubleshooting books at

Here are my recommendations when you have Skype problems:

  • If Windows has upgraded, even a little, upgrade and reload Skype. Upgrades will retain your contact lists and other configuration details.

  • Hang up and try again. Internet traffic, and therefore quality of voice connections, varies depending on many factors. Add a connection to a traditional telephone line, such as when using SkypeOut, and the potential disaster points multiply. So just shrug and try again.

  • Upgrade the sound drivers on your computer, especially when you have installation problems getting sounds in and out of Skype.

  • Persistent sound issues may be investigated on the Skype Sound Set Up Guide web pages ( They provide excellent step-by-step instructions on configuring Windows, Linux, and Macintosh systems along with your Skype client.

  • Reboot your computer. Rebooting solves many bizarre problems that nothing else will fix. If rebooting by restarting doesn't work, turn off the computer and all connected peripherals for one minute and try again. Remember to unplug USB devices if things stay screwy, because they can sometimes remain hung up if still connected to the computer.

  • Verify your broadband connection works as expected. You can't blame Skype if your service provider can't find the Internet.

  • Reboot your broadband modem and router. Turn off everything, wait one full minute, then:

    1. Turn on your cable or DSL modem and wait until it connects to your service provider.

    2. Turn on your router and wait until it connects to your router properly.

    3. Turn on your computer and wait until it connects to your router properly.

    4. Start a web browser and verify you can surf the Internet properly.

    5. Turn on Skype and try again.

Talk is Cheap
Talk is Not Cheap!: Saving the High Costs of Misunderstandings at Work and Home
ISBN: 1885167334
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 102 © 2008-2017.
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