Skype Uses Your Computer to Route Other Peoples’ Skype Calls
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This may be old news for some, but even if so, it’s worth reviewing again: when you install Skype, you are agreeing to let Skype use your computer to route other Skype users’ calls. It’s similar to the Seti arrangement. When your computer is otherwise not in use (or perhaps even when it is), Skype is using your computer’s resources to handle Skype traffic which has absolutely nothing to do with you.

It’s all laid out quite plainly in their End User License Agreement (EULA), to which you agreed if you downloaded and installed Skype on your computer. But hey, it’s a bunch of pages down, and let’s face it, who ever really reads those things, and even if you do, it’s all legal and technical mumbo-jumbo, right?


Often, yes. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

So, here’s what you’ve agreed to, if you’re using Skype:

Article 4 Permission to Utilize

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4.1 Permission to utilize Your computer. In order to receive the benefits provided by the Skype Software, You hereby grant permission for the Skype Software to utilize the processor and bandwidth of Your computer for the limited purpose of facilitating the communication between Skype Software users.

4.2 Protection of Your computer (resources). You understand that the Skype Software will use its commercially reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and integrity of Your computer resources and Your communication, however, You acknowledge and agree that Skype cannot give any warranties in this respect.

Got that?

 

“You hereby grant permission for the Skype Software to utilize the processor and bandwidth of Your computer for the limited purpose of facilitating the communication between Skype Software users.”

And, you get no warranties from Skype that they will actually protect your privacy or the “integrity of Your computer resources”.

At least now you know.

Recomended reading:

Software Agreements Line by Line: A Detailed Look at Software Contracts and Licenses & How to Change Them to Fit Your Needs

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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8 thoughts on “Skype Uses Your Computer to Route Other Peoples’ Skype Calls
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  1. For those who pay for internet time, this seems to a quick way to increase their cost. Correct?

  2. I’ve been using Skype to help students in remote locations and to save gas and travel time to client sites every once in a while.

    The talks via VOIP are usually around an hour long, then I disconnect my computer from the network. How can the Skype electons jump from the wall to my computer connection when I’m away from my computer station or I’m not connected? Can electrons jump a gap of several feet?

    While I’m online and connected to Skype, I don’t mind sharing some of my resources.

    Thanks for your time to read my side of this issue.

    Bill

  3. besides privacy, there is also the issue of paid internet traffic. You install skype, they use your line and you pay around 100MB/day, if you leave it turned on all day. And they use your disk, it may get 80% used with some crap you don’t need at all.

  4. If Skype users have proper protection against the more normal internet nasties, I can’t see a particularly big problem with the programme using resources that would otherwise go begging. Bear in mind that nothing in this world is free as such; there is always a price to pay somewhere along the line, so in this case users pay it themselves by ‘donating’ their PC’s resources. Seems fair enough.

  5. I think that Skype is in cahoots with the postal service. The postal service says “sure we will deliver that letter” and then they make you buy a stamp and Skype says “sure we will let you make a call” and then they make you share your bandwidth.
    Coincidence. I think not..

  6. As a Tech, I am scratching my head why anyone would agree to that? But have been keeping my finger nails trimmed and short lately, been scratching my head a lot to what customers do to their computers. They keep my business thriving.

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