A virtual private network mimics the way users connect directly to a central network. A VPN also uses a telecommunication channel, most commonly the Internet, to connect users to the central network remotely. In most cases, a VPN functions properly with Voice over Internet Protocol applications such as Skype. However, some users may experience conflicts when connecting to Skype.
A conflict between Skype and the VPN frequently occurs with users located in countries that actively block Skype. In several Asian, Middle Eastern and South American countries, governments and Internet service providers block the Skype service in an effort to promote local competitors or censor communications. Users frequently attempt to work around these Skype filters by utilizing VPN technology. While the VPN allows users to access Skype in these areas, a conflict frequently results between the VPN and the filtering technology that prevents Skype from working properly.
Common conflicts that occur when users run Skype using a VPN range from degraded sound quality to complete loss of Skype functionality. Another common conflict allows users to make calls to landlines and cell phones, but not to other Skype users. Further, users may experience call interruptions and reduced sound quality. Additionally, the VPN can prevent the Skype application from opening properly or launching.
Skype conflicts and the problem they cause depend on the type and version of VPN used to access the Skype application. Some VPNs commonly experience significant conflicts with Skype, while other VPNs do not cause problems. If you experience conflicts, update the VPN and the Skype application to the latest version. If updating the VPN does not resolve the conflict, try to use a different type of VPN with Skype.
If updating or changing the VPN does not resolve the conflicts, check for firewalls present on the computer system. Temporarily, disable the firewall and relaunch the Skype application. Additionally, if the computer system uses split-tunneling, disable this feature. Split-tunneling allows a user to access the VPN at the same time the user accesses a local or wireless area network. Disabling the split-tunneling feature may, however, result in slower Internet traffic through the VPN server.