Censorship of Skype: What? When? Where?

Apps Mar 16, 2021

Skype is a free software that provides text, voice, and video communication via the Internet. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown caused by it, Zoom's popularity rose sharply. Skype dropped to the 1,248th place in Global Rank, whereas Zoom now occupies the 19th place. Despite this, Skype has 47 million daily users.
Currently, Skype is used by 12.18% of people in the US, almost 7% in Russia, 5.6% in Brazil, and 4.5% in Germany.

Before creating Skype, two young entrepreneurs Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, together with Estonian developers, created the hugely popular file-sharing application KaZaA. However, in 2001, this application was declared illegal and was deleted. As a result, the only thing left from the former popular app was a unique P2P protocol.

Having so much unique code that made it difficult to intercept and track the transmitted information between computers, entrepreneurs decided to create a new application based on it. As a result, they received the initial cash capital from an investor and started working on Skype.

The Skype Technologies company was founded on August 29, 2003. On the same day, the first version of Skype was presented.

Initially, the program had an extremely simple interface. The app had an easy account registration form. Due to it, Skype gained great popularity among users. At that time, Skype could only be used to make calls.

In the next versions of Skype, voice mail and messenger appeared. In the same version, users got the opportunity to link their mobile phone number to their Skype account for the first time.

In version 2.0, the ability to make video calls was added.

In 2005, Skype became a top-rated app. As a result, eBay decided to acquire ownership of the program. Skype was sold for $2,6 billion. Thus, the founders of Skype Technologies became billionaires. Also, the programmers who worked on the creation of the app received $42 million each. However, almost immediately after the sale, the software's former owners sued eBay for using the P2P protocol. The lawsuit lasted for four years, and as a result, eBay was forced to sell Skype. The former owners of Skype received a 14% stake in the service and entered the directors' board.

When eBay owned Skype, the number of registered users had grown from 55 million to 400 million.

In 2011, Microsoft became seriously interested in buying Skype. As a result, both companies agreed to sell all rights to use the program for $8,5 billion. Microsoft took into account the past buyer's mistakes and previously discussed the acquisition of the rights to the patent of the P2P protocol.


  • Free voice and video calls;
  • Paid international calls to mobile phone numbers;
  • Text messages;
  • Group conferences in audio and video calls;
  • Ability to transfer various files;
  • A screen-sharing feature.
  • Skype is suitable for Windows, Linux, Mac, and works on iOS and Android, PSP, Xbox 360, and PS3/PS4.

Skype is a great way to solve your travel communication problem. The connection quality is not always high, but calls between messengers are free. Unfortunately, it does not work in all countries.

VOIP (Voice over IP) is a data transfer protocol that allows audio to be transmitted over Internet communication channels.
The main plus of it is cheap communication. The main disadvantage is the lack of quality guarantees.

Countries where it is blocked:

UAE VOIP communication is prohibited by law. That is why Skype is forbidden in the country. There are two telecom operators in the UAE, DU and Etisalat, which are state-owned. The state does not want to lose revenue from calls. Therefore, apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime are prohibited there.

VOIP is only allowed for two licensed companies - QTel and Vodafone. Popular free services don't work.

VOIP is not prohibited in Cuba. However, the mobile Internet speed is often so slow that it is impossible to make calls.

VOIP calls are allowed if the service server is located in Oman and authorized by the authorities, but Skype is blocked.

VOIP is only allowed for local operators. Popular free services like Skype don't work there.

In China, VOIP has never been completely banned, but it has never been wholly allowed either. Therefore, Skype calls will most likely work, but there is a chance of blocking.