Accessing Skype from abroad: How to bypass VoIP blocks when travelling

Skype Blocked VPN

In some countries, VoIP services such as Skype are blocked. What’s the best way to get around these restrictions while enjoying your holidays or traveling abroad? The best way to bypass these blocks is to use a VPN. VPNs allow you to redirect your internet traffic through a VPN server in another country. The process is as follows:

  1. Sign up for a good VPN and create an account.
  2. Download the VPN software on your device.
  3. Log into the VPN software.
  4. Choose a VPN server in a country where Skype is not blocked.
  5. Now you can chat on Skype . In addition to Skype, you can also access other services that may be blocked in your country, such as WhatsApp.

Want to start using a VPN to bypass Skype restrictions? We recommend NordVPN. This VPN has many features, offers a fast and secure service, and has a vast network of servers all over the world.

For more information on why Skype is blocked, how VPNs work, and tips for bypassing Skype blocks, read the full article below.

Since its inception in 2003, Skype’s Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunications program has enabled its users to spend an estimated 2 trillion minutes in contact with friends and family around the world. 

With around 300 million monthly users and over a billion downloads on Android, Skype has become so popular that it has even been introduced into the English language. Terms like “Skyping” were entered into the Oxford English Dictionary, along with other technology-inspired terms like “Googling”, “Whatsapping” and “Facetiming”.

In addition to being part of our vocabulary, Skype has also become one of the most restricted VoIP services. Skype, like other VoIP options, is blocked or restricted in over 20 countries. Fortunately, blocking Skype in the country you live in or are visiting isn’t the end of the world. There is a way around these blocks. 

In this article, we will find out which countries block Skype and other similar services. Also, let’s explore why they are being blocked and how you can get around these restrictions. After that, you can go back to chatting with your friends and family normally.

Why is Skype blocked in some countries?

Skype Blocked Laptop

There are many reasons why Skype may be blocked or restricted in certain countries. However, in the vast majority of cases, this boils down to three factors: protectionism, government surveillance, or regulatory restrictions.

Protectionism

Most blocks and restrictions on VoIP services occur as a form of protectionism for telecommunications companies. Skype’s ability to offer free voice and video calls worldwide has a negative impact on the revenue generated by the services offered by the telecom companies themselves. Therefore, they block the use of Skype and other similar platforms.

This is the case in South and Central America, where the same company usually offers telephone services and Internet access. Skype is blocked by telecommunications providers in Belize, Brazil and Venezuela to force users to communicate by phone or use the telecommunications company’s own VoIP service. 

The lack of competition in the telecommunications sector in these countries only adds to the problem. For example, in Belize, the state-owned Belize Telemedia Limited is the sole telecommunications provider. They block the use of Skype to protect their telephony revenue and to promote their own VoIP service.

Surveillance

In some countries, notably China and several Middle Eastern countries, the government imposes restrictions on Skype and other VoIP services. They claim that the platform independence and “no-call tracking” policy poses a security risk.

Skype was removed from all local app stores in China in December 2017. It joined Gmail, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Line and Pinterest in the list of non-state programs that have been censored by the Chinese government. The Egyptian government has an official policy of blocking services it cannot monitor, including Skype.

In January 2018, Microsoft announced that Skype would implement a “Private Call” function, with end-to-end encryption. This announcement sparked speculation that some countries would block Skype. Similar to how they had applied restrictions on WhatsApp, Telegram and Calling. Countries justifiably claim that they would no longer be able to monitor Skype calls and the location of calls.

Regulatory restrictions

In some countries, VoIP services such as Skype need a licence to operate. A prime example is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which requires VoIP services to be licensed by their Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Skype is currently unavailable in the UAE because the service was unable to obtain the necessary licence to operate.

How do I bypass VoIP blocks?

VPN-connection-Internet

If you live in or are travelling in a country that often restricts access or blocks VoIP services like Skype, don’t panic. There are a few ways to circumvent these restrictions. VPN software is by far the best way to bypass VoIP restrictions, allowing you to connect to blocked services and websites without the bandwidth restrictions or latency issues associated with Tor or proxy sites.

VPNs allow you to connect to the Internet through a proxy server, providing a foreign IP address and bypassing restrictions on VoIP services. The main difference from regular proxy services is that the VPN also has strong encryption, protecting your connection and preventing third parties from monitoring your activities. Since most VPN services offer paid subscription options, they can provide much better speed and reliability than proxy services or free VPNs.

In addition to more speed, security and reliability, premium VPN services often provide quality support to their customers. The technical support team is usually available to help you connect to restricted services through VPN. That way, you have the option of calling the technical support team if you encounter any problems getting Skype to work.

Many VPN services also offer “dedicated IP” services, allowing you to have your own custom IP instead of a shared one. With a dedicated IP, you can access video streaming services like Netflix, internet banking and online gaming sites, which often block shared IP addresses. If your dedicated IP is discovered and blocked, your VPN service can quickly provide you with a new one.

What are the best VPNs to access Skype?

If you want to start using a VPN to access Skype, choose the VPN provider that is right for you. Below you will find some VPNs that we recommend.

NordVPN

NordVPN offers a fantastic package at a very competitive price. Renowned for their fast and secure service, they have a vast network of servers all over the world, offering many options for redirecting your traffic.

Using Obfsproxy to avoid deep packet inspection and operating an “anti-log” policy, NordVPN lets you access any content you want. You don’t have to worry about anyone monitoring your activities. If you’re not completely satisfied with the service or want to try it out before committing to a subscription, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

GOOSE VPN

The GOOSE VPN helps you to unblock blocked content geographically worldwide. YouTube, Netflix, WhatsApp, Skype, blocked news sites; all of this can be accessed from anywhere in the world using GOOSE VPN. Goose is simple, fast and has great prices. Renowned for their fast and secure service, they have a vast network of servers all over the world, offering many options for redirecting your traffic.

Countries where Skype is blocked or restricted

We’ve done our best to gather information about countries where Skype is blocked. Please note that this list is constantly updated. There are no guarantees that the data is 100% correct.

Totally blocked

  • Guyana
  • Venezuela
  • Kuwait
  • Libya
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • UAE

Service restrictions

  • Belize – Skype is currently blocked by Belize Telemedia Limited, the only telecommunications provider in Belize, which offers its own VoIP calling service.
  • Brazil – Brazil ‘s largest telecommunications provider, Brazil Telecom, blocks Skype, but allows VoIP calls through its own service.
  • Caribbean – LIME, the main telecom provider in the Caribbean, prevents its customers from using Skype.
  • China – All VoIP services are blocked except those provided by China Unicom and China Telecom.
  • Cuba – Skype is available in Cuba, but calls are $1.15 a minute and the extremely slow internet speed restricts its use.
  • Egypt – The Egyptian government frequently stops or blocks all VoIP services that cannot be directly monitored.
  • Iran – Skype appears to be available, but the connectivity is so bad that the service is basically unusable.
  • India – Skype calls in India, from Skype to mobiles and landlines, are no longer available. However, free Skype to Skype calls in India are still working.
  • Jordan – All VoIP services are blocked for security reasons.
  • Myanmar – Skype and other VoIP services are only available at certain times and in specific regions.
  • Pakistan – Skype calls, even computer-to-computer calls, are highly monetized, costing around 14 cents a minute.
  • Panama – Imposes a 12% tax on all VoIP calls.
  • Syria – Access to Skype is limited and not available in cyber cafes.
  • Vietnam – Access to Skype is limited. However, there is a proxy service available in some cyber cafes, set up to facilitate Skype calls.
  • Venezuela – Local ISPs block Skype and other VoIP services in specific areas, but offer their own alternatives.

Final considerations

VPN software is the best option to bypass VoIP restrictions and access services like Skype. VPNs are the best combination of speed, utility, reliability and security. So whether you are travelling to a country with VoIP restrictions or you simply live in a country with restrictions and want to chat on Skype, subscribing to a VPN service will allow you to continue sharing your experiences without restrictions. 

Also, VPNs can help you access many other blocked apps and websites like TikTok for example. To help you choose the VPN service that’s right for you, we’ve created a list of the best VPN providers out there.

Accessing Skype from abroad: FAQ

Do you have any questions about how to bypass Skype blocks when travelling?
Check out our FAQs below and click on one to read your answer!

Most blocks and restrictions on VoIP services occur as a form of protectionism for telecommunications companies. 

Skype’s ability to offer free voice and video calls worldwide has a negative impact on the revenue generated by the services offered by the telecom companies themselves. Therefore, they block the use of Skype and other similar platforms.

Skype and other VoIP services are also blocked by some governments. They claim that the platform independence and “no call tracking” policy poses a security risk.

To get Skype working again, you can use a VPN connection. When you are connected to a server in another country, you also have the freedom of that country in your hands. 

You will receive a corresponding IP address and from that moment on you will be digitally located in that other country. If you are connected to a server in a country where Skype is allowed, you will also have access to this service.

Countries where Skype traffic has been limited or completely blocked:

Totally blocked

  • Guyana
  • Venezuela
  • Kuwait
  • Libya
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • UAE

Service restrictions

  • Belize
  • Brazil
  • Caribbean
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Will
  • India
  • Jordan
  • Myanmar
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Syria
  • Vietnam
  • Venezuela