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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The File Transfer in Skype

The File Transfer in Skype:

The new Internet Telephony system ‘Skype’ is a truly amazing peace of work that arrives at a moment that the principle of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) started about 10 years ago and foreseen by many experts at the time as the ‘next big thing’ but for some obscure reasons never really took off and was starting to fade away.

The application arrives as a fabulous gift from God to relieve those people who like me were spending far too much on the telephone. In case you haven’t understood, yes it is free and you can contact any Skype user anytime in the day for as long as you wish and in perfect quietude of mind because the communication is encrypted, the object of your discussion cannot be intercepted by a third party. In addition, you can host a conference call, send instant messages, transfer files, etc… and all you need is a microphone and/or a headset.

The technology despite its very young age is spreading as wild mushrooms i.e. very quickly. More than 700 thousands people across the world sign on every second and about 950 thousands in average are online every second (982,214 users online at 19:47 on the 2nd of November 2004). There is unfortunately a slight downside in the system as far as I am concerned and it is the speed of the file transmission. In fact it takes sometimes about 5 minutes to send a very small size file (200 kb). However it has to be stressed that the transfer doesn’t affect the quality of the sound. Also it will be a very accomplish product when users will be able to see each other during the communication via web cams for example but first of all we believe that the already existing system although brilliant can be improved, talking about the file transfer feature which also lacks of clarity in the use of buttons during the process.


  • Francis, there are reasons for the slow file transfer which are explained in the FAQ!

    Skype works on a peer-to-peer system in order to reduce the load on central servers. Therefore it's not uncommon for your phone calls - using about 10KB/sec bandwidth - to be routed between several other peers.

    For file transfers which have to be routed in this way too (as opposed to directly sending, which is possible in Skype as well) it's unfair to ask the routing nodes to upload your file at 90KB/sec as well as handling your phone call. So Skype *deliberately* limits the bandwidth to 0.5KB/sec to avoid swamping these routing nodes.

    By Blogger Mark Rowan, at 3 November 2004 at 00:30  

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