Since its launch in 2003, Skype has become the de facto voice-over-IP (VoIP) service used for communication and calls over the internet. Calling other users costs nothing, and connecting to mobiles and landlines is priced at incredibly low rates, making it one of the best choices to keep in touch with friends and family. Despite being a popular service backed by Microsoft, not everyone is interested in keeping Skype available to the public.
Some countries use Internet Service Providers (ISP) to ban or obstruct Skype, making it impossible to make calls, while companies and schools can impose local blocks. Certain telecom companies also view it as competition and work with the government to restrict user access. Fortunately, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer an off-the-shelf remedy for Skype blocks while adding an extra layer of encryption to shield conversations.
5 Best VPNs for Skype: shortlist
- The best VPN for Skype9.7
- Skype VPN with unlimited connections9.6
- Affordable VPN for Skype9.5
- Skype VPN with bonus features9.1
- Best free VPN for Skype8.9
Why do you need a VPN for Skype?
Despite being a freely available program for years, Skype is not accessible to everyone because certain countries, like China, Dubai, Kuwait, and their ISPs limit or outright block it. In some cases, Skype is seen as a potentially subversive tool with its use of encryption, low call costs, and global reach.
The phone & video app enables dissidents to instantly communicate with anyone in the world without the government monitoring their conversations. That’s a very dangerous ability for citizens to have from the perspective of Beijing’s Great Firewall operators or the censors in Saudi Arabia. It also proves to be significant competition for various telecom operators seeking to keep making a profit. Some countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) outright prohibit Skype from acquiring a telecom operator license.
On a smaller scale, schools and workplaces may also choose to restrict the availability of Skype on their networks. The reasons vary from place to place, but they generally do it to limit bandwidth usage because you can send large files and do video calls on Skype.
Utilizing a trusted VPN is essential for those seeking to bypass these restrictions. It hides your IP from third parties and encrypts your connection, making it impossible to identify who you are and what you’re doing online. And because your ISP can’t track you, you are free to use all of Skype’s features.
How to use a VPN with Skype?
- Subscribe to a trusted VPN provider. Our top choice is NordVPN, currently available for 60% off!
- Install the VPN on your device
- Connect to a country where Skype isn’t restricted
- Open Skype and start connecting with friends!
Best VPNs for Skype: overview
Since Skype is mainly used for making calls and communicating (sometimes confidential information), there are several crucial features you have to look for in VPNs. Fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth are a must for smooth performance, and military-grade encryption will keep your data safe from malicious third parties.
Because some countries, like the UAE, have deemed using Skype a punishable offense, providers with strict no-logs policies should be prioritized. They do not collect any identity-revealing info or your online activities. Kill-switches are also vital in this case – if the VPN stops working, it drops your internet connection, making sure that you are not left exposed.
We have compiled this list of the best VPNs for Skype with these features in mind.
1. NordVPN – The best VPN for Skype
24/7 live chat, Email
- Incredibly fast
- Expansive server network
- Independently audited and secure
- No router app
Often recognized as the world’s finest all-around VPN, NordVPN strongly prioritizes providing people with excellent privacy and security measures. Based in privacy-friendly Panama, it has even tailored its services to Skype users. It constantly scours the globe for blocking operations and knows which countries are restricting voice-over-IP, and it also neutralizes local blocking operations.
With 5400+ servers in 60+ countries, there are many places to safely connect and continue communicating without the fear of being tracked. Thanks to the Nordlynx tunneling protocol, based on WireGuard, you will also do it quickly and won’t experience any lag issues while doing video calls. Furthermore, if you want to maintain the utmost anonymity, you can choose to pay for this VPN with cryptocurrencies or cash.
Starting at $3.29/month if you use a NordVPN coupon, NordVPN is an exceptional service and the best-suited VPN for Skype. Offering 6 simultaneous connections and a 7-day free trial (available only to Android mobiles), it should be your go-to for bypassing restrictions. And if something doesn’t work out, there’s always a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – Skype VPN with unlimited connections
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Infinite connections
- Solid security features
- Quick speeds
- Fewer features for Mac and iOS
Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPN services you can find, but it still comes with many top-notch features. It has access to 3200+ servers in 65+ countries, robust encryption, and a kill switch while at the same time being one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested. Due to the WireGuard tunneling protocol, this VPN ensures low latency and incredible speeds.
Although it is based in the Netherlands, a member of the Nine Eyes alliance, Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy and has the GPS Spoofing feature for mobiles, which changes your device’s location, making it hard to track. Besides this, NoBorders mode is a useful feature specifically designed to be used in restrictive regions. It also comes with the option to pay for your subscription with cryptocurrencies for extra anonymity.
Coming at only $2.30/month, it’s an excellent VPN for keeping yourself anonymous from snoopers while using Skype. There are different deals to try out with a Surfshark coupon as well. Surfshark offers a 7-day free trial (for Android devices only) and a 30-day money-back guarantee to test out their services.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. PrivateVPN – Affordable VPN for Skype
24/7 live chat
- Bulletproof security features
- Strict no-logs policy
- Low latency
- Fewer features for Mac and iOS
PrivateVPN is based in a Nine Eyes alliance country – Sweden – but it makes anonymity one of its top priorities by not logging any user information. This provider takes excellent care in helping people evade tracking by offering such features as IP and DNS leak protection, NASA-grade encryption, and more, so accessing Skype and using it freely won’t be a problem.
While there are only 200+ servers in 63+ countries, it’s more than enough to connect to a place where there are no Skype restrictions. A critical feature of this VPN is Stealth VPN which bypasses censor-heavy locations like China. It’s an excellent tool that hides the fact you’re using a VPN in the first place from your ISP and government. Furthermore, you can purchase a PrivateVPN subscription with Bitcoin to maintain the utmost privacy.
This reliable VPN for Skype only costs $2.00/month if you use a PrivateVPN coupon. PrivateVPN includes 10 simultaneous connections and has a 7-day free trial. And there’s always a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
4. IPVanish – Skype VPN with bonus features
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
- Unlimited connections
- WireGuard tunneling protocol
- Malware protection
- No anonymous payment methods
While you might be wary of subscribing to a service based in the US, a Five Eyes alliance member, rest assured – IPVanish maintains an excellent no-logs policy that ensures complete privacy. Coupled with AES-256 encryption and a kill switch, your Skype and overall online activities will remain hidden from the government. It also owns and operates all 2000+ servers in 50+ countries, so no third parties are privy to your data.
IPVanish is a top-notch VPN with various features that allow you to bypass geo-restrictions, hide the fact that you’re using a VPN with traffic obfuscation, or even change your IP address via SOCKS5 proxy. However, it currently doesn’t work in China because their IP addresses are blacklisted. You also can’t use cryptocurrency to pay for the subscription.
$3.99/month is a small price to pay for a Skype VPN, but you can also explore different pricing options with an IPVanish coupon. With unlimited simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee, it’s enough time to see if this provider works for you.
For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
5. Atlas VPN – Best free VPN for Skype
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Free version
- No device limit
- Secure and affordable
- Based in the US
For those looking for a VPN that also offers a free version, Atlas VPN is an excellent choice that ensures exceptional security and privacy on all tiers. This provider has a strict no-logs policy and provides users with tools to maintain their anonymity. IP and DNS leak protection, Data breach monitoring, SafeSwap, and more features will keep your Skype activities hidden well.
It has a smaller network (just 750+ servers in 37+ countries), but that doesn’t stop Atlas VPN from offering premium services. The WireGuard tunneling protocol makes sure everything connects lightning fast, so your calls will be extra smooth. This VPN is mobile-friendly, making it an excellent choice for those doing all Skype communications via phone. As of 2021, Atlas VPN teamed up with Nord Security, joining the ranks of such well-known brands as NordVPN, NordPass, and Surfshark.
Being a budget-friendly VPN, it only costs $1.99/month, but you can also explore other options with an Atlas VPN coupon. If you think that the free version isn’t enough, you can switch to premium without hesitation – if it’s not for you, you can get everything back with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
Where is Skype banned?
Why should you install any of these VPNs for Skype? The problem is evident and straightforward to anyone who has tried to use Skype in repressive jurisdictions.
It doesn’t share its users’ private information and offers very low prices for calling landlines or mobiles anywhere in the world. Governments that want to monitor their citizens and telecom operators seeking profit see it as a hindrance to their goals.
As a result, Skype banning has become depressingly widespread, raising the need for VPNs across many countries. Here are the countries where full or partial Skype bans have been implemented (that we know of):
|Access restricted completely||Partial access restrictions||Restricted due to political reasons|
|Belize, Brazil, Caribbean, China, Dubai, Guyana, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Paraguay, Qatar, Syria, UAE||Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Vietnam||Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia|
As mentioned previously, some countries like the United Arab Emirates are outright blocking all VoIP services. Their reasoning is that Skype and similar programs are violating UAE’s digital licensing policies. The problem is that the state is refusing to issue these licenses to such services in the first place.
Another interesting case is China – technically, all VoIP services are banned. The only exceptions are services created and monitored by China Unicom and China Telecom. Many speculate that it was done to limit users to specific providers that could monitor them. Skype can be accessed, though, with the best VPNs for China.
In most cases, people are blocked from even accessing Skype’s website. Thankfully, there is a way to bypass these restrictions with VPNs.
How to download Skype when it is blocked?
- Subscribe to a robust VPN and download the program. Our number one choice is NordVPN.
- Connect to a country that doesn’t restrict Skype access
- Once connected, go to Skype’s website – it should be freely available
- Download the application, create an account, and connect with your friends!
What should I look for in a VPN for Skype?
A reliable VPN won’t just allow you to access Skype without limitations. It also:
- Won’t collect your data and give you tools to protect your privacy from big corporations, ISPs, the government, even if they’re based in a Nine Eyes alliance country.
- Allows you to circumvent regional restrictions imposed on various software, platforms, and more.
- Masks your overall presence and hides your IP address from snooping third parties.
- Offers multiple security measures that encrypt your data and shield you from cybercriminals.
- Offers unlimited bandwidth, won’t throttle your connections, and won’t have data caps. You can compare VPN speeds with our handy VPN speed test tool.
Is Skype safe to use without a VPN?
What if you can access Skype without any problems? Does that mean that a VPN isn’t required? Unfortunately, not.
Skype has tightened up its security features in recent years:
- Now, all conversations are guarded by end-to-end encryption, providing they take place between two Skype users.
- Instant messages sent over Skype are protected by TLS encryption, or AES for direct messages between two Skype clients (which is the gold standard for global encryption).
The version of AES-256 encryption used is called Rijndael, has a 256-bit cipher, and employs 1536 or 2048-bit RSA authentication. That’s pretty solid.
However, Skype accounts have been highly vulnerable to hackers in the past. In 2016, we learned that hackers had created malware (called T9000) that could attach itself to Skype and log all calls. The malware could do so if granted permission – which too many people accidentally do.
As a result, thousands of Skype accounts have been hacked, turning them into spam factories. Sometimes, this is due to malware; other times, it has been due to data leaks of Skype passwords. Either way, users should know that Skype isn’t 100% secure from hackers. Regular password changes and constant vigilance are advisable – always utilize trusted antivirus software as a rule of thumb.
While this VoIP has some privacy and security measures in place, it’s not enough. A VPN is simply a must for Skype to ensure excellent encryption – this way none of your identifying data will be logged and you won’t be susceptible to cyberattacks. Besides using VPNs, proper malware detection programs and reliable password managers will also keep you safe.
Are Skype video calls protected?
Despite these concerns, video calls on Skype are pretty safe to carry out. As we noted above, Skype routinely applies AES-256 encryption to video calls, as long as they are between two Skype users. The app also allows users to contact external individuals; this is where security concerns arise.
For instance, encryption won’t be applied if you use Skype to call a smartphone that isn’t using the app. And standard speech calls to landlines aren’t protected, either. These cases don’t generally apply to video calls using the app. Instead, the main dangers are regular calls. So, if you routinely use Skype to keep in touch with family back home, adding VPN encryption and anonymization makes sense.
The only real danger about video calls relates to Microsoft. All calls have to be routed through Microsoft’s servers, and what they do with the data isn’t entirely clear. Allegations have been made about the company scanning Skype calls for “fraud,” so it may not be wise to see video calls as entirely secure.
This is why you need a fast & secure VPN – it automatically covers all types of communication made on Skype and hides your data from privy eyes, even Microsoft’s. It’s a win on all ends.
Can I use a free VPN for Skype?
While there are free VPNs that you can use for Skype, generally, it’s not recommended to do so. The services might be free, but they come at the cost of your security and privacy. You might even be putting yourself in danger if you’re trying to use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions in countries where the government bans this VoIP.
There are numerous cases where such providers don’t have any features that ensure that your IP and DNS addresses won’t be leaked. Many of them also have a very loose or no no-logs policy at all, meaning that they collect your data and potentially sell it to malicious third parties. Besides that, many actively throttle your connection, hindering communication via Skype.
Skype is the go-to service for many people who want to keep in touch with family, friends, and business associates worldwide. It should remain accessible to everyone who wants to use it, and trusted VPNs are the perfect tool to bypass restrictions imposed by governments and corporations seeking to profit in one way or another from these bans.
Such services, like NordVPN, will not only hide your IP address and allow you to communicate without limitations, but it will also ensure that you do it securely by encrypting your connection. All of the VPNs listed here keep you safe online no matter who you’re calling or what you’re talking about on Skype; just pick a provider that suits your needs the most.
What VPN for Skype have you used before? Let us know by leaving a comment!
How can I use Skype in banned countries?
You can use Skype with a trusted VPN. It hides your IP address, masks your online presence, and allows you to “change your location” to countries where Skype is freely available and not limited.
Why is Skype banned in the UAE?
Skype is banned in the UAE because various telecom operators request the government to block VoIPs to mitigate the potential loss of revenue. While it’s been under public scrutiny for quite some time, the ban isn’t likely to be going away any time soon.
Is it legal to use a VPN with Skype?
Yes, it’s legal to use VPNs with Skype. Keep in mind that using Skype while being in a country where it is banned might have repercussions if you get caught. Doing illegal activities still makes them illegal, even if you’re using a VPN.
What is the best VPN for Skype?
NordVPN is the ultimate VPN for Skype. It allows you to bypass geo-restrictions easily, offers excellent connectivity, and its fast speeds ensure smooth overall communication no matter which server you’re using.
Nadin has been tinkering with computers and gadgets for as long as she can remember. She has extensive knowledge about various topics, including IoT, Linux, digital security, and more. Nowadays, she works as an IT network professional and writes helpful guides in her free time.