People love using Skype to video chat with their family and friends, but in some countries, Skype and other video calling software can be limited or completely blocked. Why would those countries want to block these services and is there an alternative?
The censorship of Skype is widespread, and it can be frustrating if you can’t use the same software or apps you normally use in your home country. However, different countries have different policies that can get Skype banned, or keep Skype blocked.
Many blocks are profit-driven. Most countries in Central and South America block all VoIP (Voice over IP) and Skype because they have single providers that offer both internet and telephone services. Because Skype offers free video calls over the internet, some telcos lobby to have it blocked or block it themselves because they fear losing revenue.
Some countries oppose service independence and want to track their citizens. Skype in Egypt, for example, is blocked due to unofficial government policies which insist on blocking services that can’t be monitored by the government. For this reason, Skype, and other encrypted apps are blocked, as they prevent government snooping.
There is ongoing debate about Skype encryption and the possibility of wiretapping it. Skype is currently available throughout the EU.
Note: This list is constantly changing as some countries might have specific temporary blockages that are difficult to track.
The most common and easiest way to bypass blocks and access Skype is to use a VPN. It will tunnel your requests through a secure pathway, encrypting it and bypassing most government and ISP surveillance. With NordVPN you can choose from more than 5000 servers in 59 countries. No matter where you are, find the most suitable server by checking the full list of server locations.