Which Skype download is best for you?

Skype’s been in the news recently due to its imminent takeover by Microsoft. Whether this will be a positive or negative move for the VoIP company remains to be seen, but what is certain is that the news has produced plenty of good jokes – and renewed interest in the internet phone app.

If you’ve ever searched for Skype on Softonic, you’ll see that we have a bunch of versions – Skype, Skype for Business, Skype Portable, Skype Gold – not to mention all the versions that exist for different platforms. With so much to choose from, how do you know which Skype is right for you?

The standard Skype app is more than enough for the vast majority of users. Whether you’re running it on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, Symbian, or Windows Mobile, there’s a version for you, and with a relatively fast internet connection, you should have it downloaded and ready to call in minutes.


Skype Portable, obviously enough, is the no-install version of the standard program. It provides exactly the same features, but as you don’t need to install it, it’s perfect if you spend a lot of time working on computers that aren’t yours, or if you are running a low-spec computer that you don’t want to burden with large installations.


Skype Business is also a really popular download. This one, obviously enough, is designed for professionals, and can be rolled out in any situation, from a small home office to a multinational enterprise. When you get down to the basics, Skype for Business is fairly similar to the home package – Skype-to-Skype calls for free, instant messaging, small conference calls and screen sharing. Where it really differs is in the pay-for services it provides, and the business-wide roll-out help needed in the case of bigger companies.

There are also a selection of Skype toolbars that you can use to integrate the program into your browser or Office programs. Admittedly more recent versions of Firefox have some of this facility built in, but if you are using an older version, you might want to take a look at Skype Web Toolbar or Skype Office Toolbar. The former recognizes phone numbers and Skype Names on webpages, so that you can call with one click, while the latter does the same, but in Office documents, so you can IM and share documents without even leaving Word.

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