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What is skype?

Skype (pronounced /'skaɪp/) is a software that allows text, voice and video communications over Internet (VoIP). It was designed in 2003 by the Danish Janus Friis and the Swedish Niklas Zennström (also creators of Kazaa) and developed in its technical solution by the Estonians Priit Kasesalu, Ahti Heinla and Jaan Tallinn, since in fact Skype was born in Tallinn, Estonia. The code and protocol of Skype remain closed and are exclusive to the application, but interested users can download the executable application from the official website. Skype users can talk to each other for free.

This application also includes a feature called YY SkypeOut, which allows users to call conventional phones, charging them various low rates according to the country of destination, being able to call almost any phone in the world. Another option offered by Skype is SkypeIn, thanks to which a telephone number is granted so that a telephone device, anywhere in the world, can contact the computer. In addition, a voicemail service is provided.

How does it work?

Skype uses P2P networks. Clients work as servers for other clients and vice versa. In the case of Skype, there are pure servers exist, but they are basically used to authenticate.

All Skype clients are Nodes, but if a Node contains a public IP assigned directly and has a broadband connection, it can become a SuperNode.

A Supernode is a client that acts as a server for other clients sharing a connection or simply serving as a link to other Supernodes. When we connect to a Supernode, from there we get the addresses of other Nodes with whom we wish to communicate.


  • Modify or delete content from the USB storage.
  • Read the contents of your USB storage.
  • Search your device contacts.
  • Consult and modify your contacts.
  • Get your network-based location and GPS.
  • Add or remove accounts.
  • Use device accounts.
  • Send persistent emission.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi networks and disconnect.
  • Create accounts and set passwords.
  • Full network access.
  • Take photos and videos.
  • Record sound.


Skype uses the 256-bit AES algorithm to encrypt the voice, transferred files or instant message. For the paid version the 2048-bit RSA algorithm is used for voice mail access and 1536-bit during negotiation to establish the connection. For this they use an asymmetric key, which allows to avoid attacks of the man-in-the-middle type.

Another security risk is the automatic updates that can not be disabled from version 5.6, for both Mac OS and Windows, although in the latter case and only after 5.9 in certain cases it does seem that they can be disabled.

Terms of use and privacy

  • The company claims to respect the privacy of its users, and for this reason will not use your documents, photos, any kind of personal files, emails, chats, video calls, or voicemail to show you personalized ads.
  • Microsoft will not be responsible for your content, materials or third-party materials, including links to third-party websites and user-provided activities. Such content and activities are not attributable to Microsoft or represent Microsoft's opinion.
  • Neither Microsoft nor its subsidiary agents nor its legal representatives will be liable for any indirect or consequential damages, including economic loss, such as loss of profits, unless Microsoft, its subsidiary agents or its legal representatives have committed, as a minimum, gross negligence or willful misconduct.
  • Microsoft shall not be liable for any breach or delay in the performance of its obligations under these Terms to the extent such breach or delay arise from circumstances beyond Microsoft's reasonable control (eg, labor disputes, natural phenomena, wars or terrorist activities, malicious damage, accidents or compliance with applicable law or government provision). Microsoft will make every effort to minimize the effects of such events and to meet its obligations that are not affected by them.

Analysis and conclusions

After all this we see how it collects an incredible amount of data, and we do not know at all the use that can give this information. Therefore we can stay with several questions like:

  • Just offer us recommended ads?
  • Just improving our experience? In a way yes, but as we see in privacy that does not take responsibility for how they treat the third party data gives much to think about.

To avoid being Supernodes in Windows, edit the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Policies \ Skype \ Telephone \
  Key: DisableSupernode

External Links