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Summary:

Paul Kedrosky just experienced the worst of Skype. His computer became like a super-super node and basically overwhelmed his 100 megabit per second connection to the Internet. It has been a deep dark secret in the Skype world that how super fast hosts in the West […]

Paul Kedrosky just experienced the worst of Skype. His computer became like a super-super node and basically overwhelmed his 100 megabit per second connection to the Internet. It has been a deep dark secret in the Skype world that how super fast hosts in the West are being used as supernodes for the benefit of others who are geeky enough to prevent this from happening.

As more and more Skype-enabled phones go online, how bad of a problem this “pipe hijack” will become? Aswath and Andy were talking about this only a week ago. Computerworld has some thoughts on this.

Skype’s recent versions have already been derided for being CPU hogs, not just for Mac owners, but for Windows PC users who complained that their machines were running hot, and Skype was consuming a lot of cycles. Its been a known fact to readers here of the various issues that go along with Skype.

  1. An unselfish and “anti-social” way to handle this problem is to put the Skype client behind a “symmetric NAT”. The whole system may not scale as much as before, but you will be safe.

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  2. Sorry I meant to say selfish, NOT unselfish.

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  3. it all comes back to “if it seems to good to be true it usually is” – what kind of network problems could this create if Skype was REALLY big? is this something eBay is going to solve – at least for calls that are related to moving product on ebay.com – by creating their own supernodes? it seems that in all the free call fever that some people forgot a basic rule – you can’t get something for nothing…..someone is going to be paying the price!

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  4. If apps like Skype are going to eat up all my bandwidth, then I’ll be happy if incumbent pipe owners start prioritizing the traffic.

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  5. well, this clearly has become a big issue and i am a tad surprised that no one talks about this stuff anymore. there is certain halo around skype right now.

    i am wondering what happens when my comcast pipe becomes a super node, and what if it means me getting terminated from comcast broadband. this is getting a tad scary now.

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  6. Why hasn’t Ebay put the load on their servers. This is so elementary. But Skype is the big thing. Remember, sharing is good. Well, Nick, I heard you didn’t share the pot of Ebay gold. Yes, sharing is really good. Is that still on their website. I haven’t been there lately and don’t think I’ll be back. :-)

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  7. Can Skype over-saturate a high bandwidth connection?

    …Om Malik, commenting on Paul’s blog entry, says, It has been a deep dark secret in the Skype world that how super fast hosts in the West are being used as supernodes for the benefit of others who are geeky enough to prevent this from happening. I d…

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  8. aaah… this is an old problem with makers of skype… i experienced a similar situation with Kazaa. My company’s entire network came crashing down.

    A better alternative seems to be damaka (http://www.damaka.com). Read a lot of blogs on damaka – some good, some bad. I tested it a few months ago and it works just fine for me.

    They do ‘direct peering’ – first time I am hearing this term… it just means they dont create super nodes like skype does. I found their call quality to be better than skype. They are SIP based and are secure end to end. They have a lot of cool features… but are missing some important ones like PSTN calling and file transfer.

    check them out @ http://www.damaka.com

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  9. Thomas Einwaller Wednesday, January 11, 2006

    Everybody who is directly connected to his cable or dsl allows other skype users behind NAT firewall to use his node to route their trafic through it – thats why skype is a P2P VOIP software.

    See http://www.skype.com/products/explained.html for details

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  10. If eBay puts all the load on their servers, then it wouldnt be P2P any more, would it? I am not sure how good the voice quality If every single Skype conversation around the world is to be processed and routed by a central server sitting in ebay. Too many hops.

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