How to save bandwidth when using Skype

This article was modified on 2012-08-29 13:28:57

Recently I had a problem with Skype and how it uses bandwidth. If your ISP doesn`t limit your traffic you have no idea how lucky you are. However if your traffic is limited, using Skype and video chat it will probably eat a lot of bandwidth. If you`re using a 3G or 4G Internet Surf stick you`re probably being limited to 1,3,5,10,20 GB - month depending on what plan you`ve selected. I`ve recently written an article regarding the alternatives for Mobile Internet in Germany and it seems to be the best example of how you can actually lose all your bandwidth because of Skype especially when using the video chat feature.

You can save bandwidth with Skype by applying those three methods, I`ve searched on the Internet for others but I couldn`t find any other suggestions, if you have any of them feel free to leave a comment.

1. Whenever you can try to initiate only voice calls, without video, it will save your bandwidth as in video mode, Skype will use up to 6 times more bandwidth. I`ve learned from my experience that if you will use an advanced web camera with a better resolution such as HD ( High Definition ) it will eat even more bandwidth, I don`t know how much exactly but I can give you the following example :

I used a Microsoft Lifecam HD 3000 Web Camera for one week. Approximately 1 hour of video calls each day. In one week ( 7 days ) my entire traffic was gone and I am talking here about 5 GB of traffic.

2. The second thing to do is to stop Skype from starting automatically when your computer will start. By default, when you install Skype it will start up automatically so you probably didn`t noticed that Skype will run permanently in your taskbar. While it`s running it will eat some bandwidth not very much but it counts especially if you`re keeping your computer opened for a long time. Here`s how you can stop Skype from running automatically on your PC :

A. You can use a third party application such as CCleaner which allows you to disable programs from startup. If you already have CCleaner installed here`s how do to it :

Open`` CCleaner`` - go to – ``Tools`` - select – ``Startup`` - locate Skype in that list - click on – ``Disable``

B. Do this manually, it should work in Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Click on Windows Start button - in the search box type - msconfig - hit ``ENTER`` - go to – ``Startup`` tab - locate Skype - make sure that you ``UNCHECK`` Skype - click on ``Apply`` - Select - ``OK``. ( A restart will be required ).

3. Disable Skype Super Nodes. This is an option that allows Skype software to use your computer as a Super-Node. It is not sure how it will give this attribute to your computer but if you have a fast Internet Connection it will probably be enough. Skype will use ports 443 and 80 which will route traffic from other users that can`t access these ports. It`s a system that helps their network but it can seriously damage your bandwidth and you don`t want this if your traffic is limited such as the one from a 3G - 4G Internet Stick. Here`s how you can prevent-disable this feature:

Open ``Skype`` - go to ``Tools`` tab - select ``Advanced`` option - click on ``Connection`` - from there - uncheck ``Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connections`` and click ``Save``.

That`s how you can prevent Skype to use a lot of traffic or should I say to limit-minimize the bandwidth usage for this application. Unfortunately I`ve learn all of these things due to fact that I use a 3 G Internet Connection ( mobile ) and as you probably know every MB is important when your bandwidth is limited.

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