How to Unblock Skype
Updated: February 25, 2016
- First, get a VPN account setup
- Next, download and install the VPN software to the device(s) you want to unblock Skype on
- Open the VPN software and connect to a server location where Skype is not blocked (e.g. US or UK)
- Once connected, return to Skype and it will be unblocked
- On your mobile, if Skype is still not unblocked then go to your app settings then clear the cache and force stop your Skype app, then open it again
How to unblock Skype in more detail:
It’s not easy being an ex-pat at times. Sure there are plenty of perks to living in a different culture and having the chance to meet new people and learn new languages. But it is very easy to get homesick too.
Fortunately, modern technologies have made the world a much smaller place than it once was, and these days it is possible to speak to your loved ones on the phone or via an internet connection whenever you want to, often for free.
It is Skype which is the most popular of these online communications tools, and also which bought the possibilities of online communication to the mass marketplace. My job has taken me to a number of different places around the world, and I have always relied on Skype to stay in touch with my family back in the US. Speaking regularly certainly makes it easy for me to be so far away from them, and I am sure it does for them too.
But my last posting has made life complicated. I am now living in the UAE, which along with other countries like Qatar, Oman, Paraguay, and Egypt has decided to block access to Skype.
My parents back home aren’t really able to switch to another platform at their age, so I had to find a way to make Skype work. Fortunately, I managed to… by using a VPN.
Why is Skype not Available in some countries?
There are a number of reasons why Skype is blocked in some countries. The first and perhaps most common one is related to censorship. Some countries are run by Governments that choose to strictly control their populations access to information.
As a free online communication tool, Skype is an easy way for people to communicate with those overseas, and for some regimes this is not a good thing, so they have blocked access to it in an effort to control their population.
Another pretty common reason is for financial reasons. Using Skype takes business away from other companies such as national telecommunications companies. In some places these companies have successfully lobbied Government to block Skype to protect their markets.
And the way they block access if using something known as geo-blocking.
How is Skype being blocked?
Countries that have decided to block access to Skype use geo-blocking as a means to stop people accessing the site because they are unable to remove the site altogether.
To so this they require the countries Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block any user from with the
ISPs can see every website their users visit, and it is not great hardship for them to instruct their servers to deny access to certain websites. It is commonly done in many countries to restrict access to illegal content online, such as child pornography.
To get around such a block, you will need to use a VPN. A VPN works by redirecting your internet traffic via an external server overseas. You are connected to that server via an encrypted secure connection meaning your own Government are unable to see the content you are looking at. The server then connects you to any website you choose to visit, and as long as Skype is not blocked in the country where the server is located, Skype should be available.
If you keep reading, I will explain exactly how you can use a VPN to unblock Skype.
How to Use a VPN to Unblock Skype
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
As I noted at the top, I have chosen to use ExpressVPN to explain how the process works. So first you will need to visit the ExpressVPN website which you can do by clicking on one of the links on this page.
Once there, you will have to choose from one of their subscription packages. Click on your preferred one, and you will be diverted to their payment processing page where you can make your payment using one of a variety of internationally recognized payment options.
Once your payment has been completed, ExpressVPN will email you a link. Click on this to activate your account.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Then you will need to download and install the ExpressVPN software. Just click on the correct operating system from the menu you can see below, and follow the simple instructions onscreen to complete the download and installation process.
Step 3: Connect to a Server where Skype is not blocked on VPN
Lastly, you will need to choose which server to connect to. Choose any one you like as long as it is located in a country where Skype is not blocked.
Click on your choice and then wait a few moments for the connection to be established.
Below is an example of me connecting to a UK-based server location on my ExpressVPN dedicated Android app:
It really is that simple. Once your connection is established you should be able to log into Skype and make calls as you normally would.
I can’t tell you what a relief it was for me to be able to use ExpressVPN to contact my parents again. Without Skype my life, and theirs, would be a whole lot harder.
Do leave any comments or questions you may have about this process at the bottom of the page. I always like to hear feedback from readers.
And if you are not as keen on ExpressVPN as me, there are of course plenty of others you can choose from. You can also see my pick of the Top 5 VPNs for Unblocking Skpye below.