Skype Acceptable Use Policy
Skype (www.skype.com) is a free Internet telephony product that uses peer-to-peer (P2P) networking protocols. This allows users to make free internet-based phone calls.
There are 3 main considerations regarding the use of Skype on the Durham University network are:
- Skype can use excessive network resources and result in Durham University becoming a Skype super-node 1
- There is a potential security issue in that the machines running Skype are totally exposed to the Internet (hacking, viruses etc.)
- The Skype User Agreement makes the user agree to provide services to Skype for resources owned by the University 2. Individual users are not empowered to give such consent in relation to the Durham University network bandwidth. (see University Policy on the Use of IT Facilities and IT-related Regulations)
To address these issues, CIS have placed the following restrictions on the use of Skype with the Durham University network:
- All users must ensure that any device they use to access Skype;
- has the latest Operating system security patches installed.
- has the latest anti-virus definitions installed.
- CIS provide no guarantee on quality of service for Skype network traffic.
- CIS provide no support for users of Skype.
- Skype must not be installed on any classroom PC (NPCS)
- Any misuse of Skype, whether intended or not, to the detriment of the Durham University network will result in the offending node being suspended without notice.
- Any overload of the Durham University network due to unconstrained use of Skype may result in the use of the Skype proxy server (see below) being suspended without notice.
- SkypeOut (calling landline and mobile phones direct from Skype) is not supported as it will not work through a proxy server (see below).
- All Skype traffic must be directed through the Durham University proxy server. This will ensure Durham University do not become classed as a Skype super-node and reduces the risk of any security threats.
To configure your Skype client to do this:
- Skype must be at least version 0.97 or later in order to use an HTTPS/SSL proxy.
- Configure the proxy setting in Internet Explorer. (Tools – Internet Options – Connections). Select ‘Lan Settings’ and change the settings as follows:
- Tick ‘Use a proxy server for your LAN’
- Enter address wwwcache.dur.ac.uk
- Enter port 8080
- Tick Bypass proxy server for local addresses
1 Skype will dynamically adapt to the network environment that it finds. Skype has the ability to connect caller and called via a third part client, if that proves the most effective route. It’s this feature the “Super-node” that causes the most problems in terms of bandwidth utilisation. If Skype finds a client with a high speed connection, it will use this client to handle voice communications for other Skype calls. The result is that the client will receive high volumes of calls that have little to do with the local network or its users.
2 4.1 Utilization of Your computer. You hereby acknowledge that the Skype Software may utilize the processor and bandwidth of the computer (or other applicable device) You are utilizing, for the limited purpose of facilitating the communication between Skype Software users.