The Skype Hole

By | April 12, 2006

Perhaps this isn’t that new, but I’ve noticed that Skype chat messages often don’t get through until hours later, even if both parties are online. 

The problem seems to be that while both parties are online — i.e., have Skype running and are shown as online, or away or something — the other party can’t see them. This is odd, given that Skype is usually better than other similar services at establishing a connection. It’s also somewhat embarrassing, and undermines its effectiveness as a business tool. Twice in the past couple of days I’ve been waiting for a scheduled call only for us to miss each other because we cannot see each other online. Calling anyway is no good, because the call either doesn’t connect or goes through to voicemail. Any text messages sent, along the lines of “Are you there?”, ‘Hello?” and “Weren’t we supposed to be talking around now, you %#@(#@(?”, only arrive hours later:


Is this common? Is it an old problem? Or is Skype’s connectivity — its key strength, along with voice quality — slipping?

6 thoughts on “The Skype Hole

  1. Stephanie

    Yea I noticed that and a little more which is why i switched over to Yahoo messenger has video chat now so it is like video phone!

  2. tropicaljantie

    yeah i noticed that too some time ago. it’s an excellent way to see when hidden people come online too. what is also not possible is send file to an offline storage. the point. skype is not good in this. i use sms for urgent messages. connectotel has a great skype service for that.
    besides : where are the messages when they are inthe queue and how safe is all this.

  3. ady

    Yeah… just recently been experiencing that too. It’s getting annoying. The service used to be really good but what’s happened? 🙁

  4. Juha

    You may have left yourself logged in (on?) on (at?) another system. That’s what I found usually causes the delayed messages, although I don’t know why exactly it happens.

    The multiple logins are something a security worry, IMO.

  5. Juha

    Actually, it could be to do with Skype’s NAT and firewall busting technique, which means that calls and chats are routed via third-party computers at times. If a particular “Supernode” ceases to route Skype traffic, it takes a while for the client to establish a new connection with another intermediary.

    Skype doesn’t rate-limit Supernode traffic, unfortunately, which means your computer could end up having masses of network connections opened – and pass a great deal of traffic, which is not good in places where you’re charged for data.

    Many people firewall off Skype for that reason but if too many users do that, the service won’t work as well.

    You can probably nail down the issue when it happens if you use a software firewall that shows what connections are open.

  6. Jaanus

    We’ve been getting these reports on and off. Ironically, the bigger your contact list is (and the more you use Skype for daily work), the worse the problem gets since Skype throttles some activities based on your contact list size.

    There are no known major bugs about message delivery, but we look at all the problems that people report us and it keeps improving with each version.

    Jaanus /


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