Skype has established itself as the de facto voice-over-IP (VoIP) service for conducting audio and video conversations over the internet on a global scale. It enables anybody around the globe to register an account and begin making free calls to other Skype users, as well as low-cost calls to mobiles and landlines.
However, Skype use is either outlawed or restricted in a number of nations. ISPs restrict access to Skype at the behest of the government or for their own advantage. The causes differ by nation. In certain countries, such as Belize, large telecom carriers are opposed to competition from over-the-top (OTT) VoIP services such as Skype. In others, such as Egypt, the government has prohibited Skype from operating due to the government’s inability to control citizens’ conversations. Finally, some jurisdictions make operating Skype unreasonably costly and complicated. Skype, for example, has been unable to get the necessary telecom operator license in the United Arab Emirates.
However, regardless of your location, you can always use Skype with a reliable VPN provider. A VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it via an intermediate server in the user’s chosen online location. Encryption conceals the content of your online activity while the server conceals its origin.
How to use a VPN to unblock Skype
If you’re in a country where Skype is restricted, use this guide to unblock it using a VPN.
- Subscribe to the VPN suggested below. We suggest NordVPN in particular.
- Install the VPN app on your smartphone.
- Select a server in a country where Skype is not restricted by the app.
- Connect by clicking the Connect button.
- Allow a few seconds for the connection to be fully established.
- Open Skype and log in as usual.
That is all! Through the VPN connection, you may now use Skype without limitation. Enable the leak prevention and kill switch feature on your VPN to guarantee that no Skype data escapes the encrypted VPN connection.
When the VPN is active and your ISP is unaware that you are using Skype, we do not encourage you to breach the law in countries where using a VPN or Skype is unlawful.
We used the following criteria to narrow down the best VPN for Skype:
- Connections that are quick and dependable are necessary for good VoIP conversations.
- Encryption security.
- No logs are kept as per policy.
- Applications for a variety of operating systems.
Best VPN for Skype
NordVPN has servers in several countries and supports simultaneous connections on multiple devices. Certain servers have been tuned for increased reliability (anti-DDoS), quicker streaming (ultra-fast TV), and enhanced digital privacy (Tor over VPN, double VPN). All connections are encrypted, and the business wants to strengthen them further this year. NordVPN adheres to a stringent zero-logging policy regarding both traffic and metadata. Apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS are available.
China users: don’t use TOM Skype
If you reside in China and attempt to download Skype without using a VPN, you’re likely to wind up with TOM Skype. While it seems to be identical to Skype, TOM Skype is a China-compliant version of Skype that enables Chinese authorities to monitor and control chats independently.
Instead of that, connect to a VPN and download the international version, which Chinese officials cannot decrypt without express permission and aid from Skype.
VPN for Skype FAQs
Which countries have Skype been blocked?
Skype is prohibited across Guyana, Kuwait, Libya, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Skype is restricted regionally, is blocked by particular ISPs, or is occasionally prohibited in the following countries: Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, a number of Caribbean nations, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Pakistan, Paraguay, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, Russia, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Is using a VPN with Skype going to protect me from government surveillance?
Although Skype calls and messages are encrypted, they are not end-to-end encrypted. The service employs robust 256-bit AES encryption and an unbreakable key size of 2,048. TLS and AES encryption are used to send instant communications. The only portion of a mobile or landline call that is not encrypted is the portion that goes via conventional phone networks (PSTN).
Despite this encryption, reports show that some governments are listening in on Skype users’ chats.
Edward Snowden disclosed in 2013 that the NSA had extensive access to the service’s audio and video communications, which were thought to be encrypted. Even before Microsoft purchased Skype, Snowden demonstrated the company’s collaboration with the NSA. Since its acquisition in 2011, the quantity of data gathered has more than quadrupled and now includes video.
We now know that authorities in the United States, Russia, and China can eavesdrop on Skype talks. While the precise mechanism is not quite obvious, we have a fair concept of how it works. Normally, when you make a Skype call or send a message, the data is encrypted using a session key created randomly on your computer. The key is transmitted to the receiver and can be decrypted only by them.
However, upon request from a government authority, Skype may discreetly replace the session key on your device with one produced on Skype’s servers. When audio, video, and message data travel via Skype’s servers, they may be intercepted and decrypted for inspection by the authorities.
So, would a VPN safeguard you from this? To be honest, I doubt it. It is unclear what Microsoft’s policy is in this regard. If you use a VPN to change your IP address to one that is not in Russia, the United States, or China, you may be able to avoid being spied on. However, it is equally conceivable that Microsoft will provide information on demand regardless of your location.
If you want to use Skype, your data must at some point transit via Microsoft’s servers without VPN encryption. There is no way around this. If this is a deal-breaker, choose a different VoIP provider.
Take note that this method is unlikely to be employed on a large scale for bulk data collection. It is very probable that this would occur on an individual, case-by-case basis only in response to a request from authorities.
Isn’t it possible to use a free VPN service in countries where Skype is prohibited?
Generally, free VPNs do not provide enough bandwidth for voice and video conversations. Paid providers offer consumers access to fast servers that do not degrade call quality or cause calls to be interrupted while buffering.
Additionally, free VPNs should not be trusted. They often monitor users’ behavior while connected to a VPN and sell the information gathered to third-party advertising. They impose bandwidth and data limitations, and many are known to be infected with malware.
Is Skype available in China?
Skype’s website and service are both temporarily restricted in China. Users report being able to use Skype without a VPN in China, albeit the connection is inconsistent. A VPN will guarantee that you may contact and chat on Skype without encountering any limits or concerns about government eavesdropping.
How can Skype be made faster?
The quality and dependability of Skype calls is highly dependent on your available bandwidth. If your calls are of poor quality or regularly interrupted for buffering, the first thing you should do is boost your bandwidth.
You may increase Skype’s bandwidth by deactivating downloads on all devices in your household, including streams and system upgrades. Switch off any programs or devices with which Skype shares bandwidth.
While the VPN we suggested provides enough bandwidth, it’s a good idea to select a server that is close to either you or the receiver of your call. This decreases the amount of time data travels between you and the other party.