How to Call a Telephone From a Computer

By Randall Shatto

Calling a telephone from a computer is a great way to save money. Some calls are free, while others cost a fraction of the cost of your local phone service. Skype allows you to call other Skype members from your computer free of charge using a headset or microphone plugged into your computer. If you need to call someone who does not use Skype, a small fee applies. You can choose one of Skype's monthly membership options, which start at $3 a month in the United States and Canada, or just pay as you go. With a monthly membership, you will be able to gain more features, including a private phone number that people can call from landlines and cell phones.

Things You'll Need

  • Broadband connectionSkype programMicrophone or headsetComputer speakers

Step 1

Go to the Skype official website. At the top of the page, you can choose a menu option for downloading the program or learn more about Skype. You can use this service for business purposes or residential phone services, and the Skype website explains payment options and how to use Skype for free (see Resources below).

Step 2

Click on the "Download" link at the top of the page. You will be redirected to another page. Click on the "Download Now" button for the Windows version. If you have another operating system, check out the right-hand side of the page for other options, including Windows business version and Mac OS.

Step 3

Click on "Save" when the download box appears. Choose a folder that you want to download the file to. Go to that folder and click on the installation icon to begin installing.

Step 4

Answer the questions that appear when your installation begins. This includes your language and confirmation of the terms of the program. Open the Skype program.

Step 5

Create a Skype user account. Fill out the first page with your name and password. Click "Next" and enter your email address and city, and then click "Sign In."

Step 6

Click on "Contacts" and then "Add Contact." You can choose to find someone who has a Skype account by using a name, user ID or email address. You may also input a phone number to call. To directly call someone without adding them to your contacts, click "Call Phones" and enter the phone number. If the person you wish to phone does not have Skype, you will need to buy Skype credits. Click on "Account" and then "Buy Skype Credits." Fill out your billing information and then click "Next." Then input your credit card information.

References & Resources