How to use Skype with VPN
Skype is threatening to overtake the world for good and many big telecom companies live in fear that they will lose a lot of money if Skype takes over and everyone starts using it as the main way to communicate with each other. This is exactly the reason why many countries simply blocked Skype in their countries, making it unavailable for their citizens to enjoy this free privilege. Some of the countries on this list are Brazil, Mexico, China, Cuba, UAE, etc.
There are various ways to block Skype in certain countries, some direct and some indirect. The main direct method is the complete shutdown of this service in certain areas while the indirect method includes painfully slowing down speed of Skype.
Table of Content
1 . How Skype Uses Your Internet Connection?
2. Does VPN affect your speed?
You are probably reading this blog because you have been the victim of this terrible occurrence. People travel a lot nowadays and it is really sad to know that they are unable to communicate to their loved ones from the far-away lands. The travelers either have no access to Skype or the quality of audio and video is so bad that it makes it unbearable to communicate. Luckily for you there is this VPN technology which can actually go pass the security systems imposed by the governments and make Skype work perfectly for you. VPN is a great thing and you can choose some of the VPN providers, such as LimeVPN which will give you the opportunity to make Skype work.
LimeVPN has to offer two main plans – basic and pro plan, the first one being only $2.99 a month and the second one being $14.98 a month. Each of these offers have something unique on their list and you can check that out here for more information. The website will give you thorough instructions on how to set up VPN properly and, thus, avoid all the unnecessary complications with Skype while in the foreign countries.
How Skype Uses Your Internet Connection?
Skype requires you to have stable internet connection. However, in order to use all these different features of Skype, you will need to take a look at the information below and see how it affects you and your Internet.
- Turning on Skype – to have Skype turned on takes up 0 – 4kbps which.
- Calling someone on Skype – in order to make a proper call on Skype you need to have at least 30kbps download and upload speed. This is not really a lot and most of the people can use it. However, in order to make a proper call in high quality, you will need a minimum of 100kbps download and upload.
- Video calling on Skype – video calling on Skype still does not require you to have a super-fast connection if you have a one on one call or a share screen call. As a matter of fact, you need only 400kbps upload and download in order to make it work (although optimal would be 500kbps). However, if you want to have a high definition call (although it’s actually never HD it is just a better video) you will need 1.2Mbps minimum and 1.5Mbps optimal download and upload speed.
- Group video call on Skype – now, if you want to call several people and have a video chat with them, then you will need a better speed. Let’s put it this way – in order to have a basic video conversation with two people, you will need at least 512Mbps download and upload speed (and recommended 2Mbps download speed). However, in order to have a group video call with more than seven people, you will need at least 4Mbps/129Kbps (and the recommended speed would be 8Mbps7512kbps)
As you can see, it is not really much at all and you will have problems making basic calls only if you have a really slow dial-up internet which is, in fact, a thing of the past century. This is yet another proof on how some countries make it difficult for their citizens to use Skype (and even some similar services).
In order to see whether you have a connection good enough for Skype, follow the steps shown in this article.
- Select the person that you want to communicate with in your Contact list
- Once you open the window for chatting with that person, go to the header and click Check settings.
- Find the Connection tab in that window and click the big round button – Test now
- Wait while Skype tests the connection that can be established between the desired contact and you and gets back with results to you.
In most of the cases you will have no problem conducting a simple call as long as it is not a video call. However, if you need to make video calls you may have trouble establishing good connection if your bandwidth is not fast enough. If you have a good bandwidth and the stable connection, try cancelling file transfers that may be in progress or closing other applications on your computer. Also, if you have a shared connection, you need to make sure that the activities of other people connected to the internet do not take too much speed.
Does VPN affect your speed?
There is certainly a certain drop in connection speed when someone starts using a VPN. However, there are many other factors which affect the connections and paid VPNs are less likely to affect your speed than free VPNs.
In other words, server speed may vary and the factors such as server’s proximity, internet speed, ISP and server connectivity, the desired website’s location and the VPN provider may significantly affect the speed that you have. Therefore, in order to achieve the best internet speed with a VPN it is very important to connect to a server which is near you physically.
You can use the application that tests your speed on www.speedtest.net in order to check different locations and how they react differently in terms of your internet speed. Once you find out the best one, you can connect to the best LimeVPN’s servers via PPTP, l2tp, SSTP, OpenVPN or SoftEther and try both TCP and UDP ports to see how they affect your speed. This way you can find what works best for you and affects your speed the least. LimeVPN provides setup tutorials as well as software which serves as a VPN client.
Choosing servers is not a difficult task and if you that one of the servers given by LimeVPN is not optimal, you can, first of all, try other protocols such as L2TP, SSTP, PPTP, SoftEther or SoftEther and then change to the second, third or the fourth server which are usually located in the same place.
To sum up, Skype is a useful tool and everyone deserves to make free calls and video calls all around the world. However, many telecom companies do not allow that, but you can be smarter than them and install a Virtual Private Network which will serve as a way to overcome the ban and access Skype with almost full speed that you have. In other words, VPN can really help you communicate with your friends and family whenever you go.