Do You Need a Webcam for Skype Calling?

By Dan Stone

Webcams take full advantage of Skype's features, but aren't required.
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You do not need to have a webcam to make calls with Skype. Skype, an Internet-based calling and video chat service, uses webcams to send video feeds to other people on the call. If you don't have a webcam, you can still connect to calls in which other users have webcams and sending video feeds -- you just won't be able to provide a live video feed yourself.

Skype Voice Calls

While Skype is known for video-calling, the service can be used to make voice-only calls over the Internet. People can make voice calls without a webcam: the only required hardware includes a microphone and speaker. According to Skype, voice-only calls require less bandwidth than video calls that require a recommended 100kbps connection speed. Voice calls can get by with as little as 30kbps, making the service viable even on dial-up connections.

One-Way Skype Video

If one person on the call has a webcam and the other person does not, the two can still make a video call. However, the person with the webcam will be the only one visible in the chat: the webcam-less party will connect similarly to a voice-only chat. Users who are having a difficult time sending a video stream may opt to switch to voice-only calling to ensure other people can at least hear them. People with Android and iOS devices can use apps like IP Webcam or EpocCam to use the device as a webcam for the computer.