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Skype is a voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software application used for voice, video and instant messaging communications. Skype software allows user to make calls, video calls or engage in chat over the Internet. Unlike other similar services, Skype calls use peer-to-peer technology rather than the client-server system.
Skype to Skype calls are free, while public switched telephone network (PSTN) and mobile calls are either free or subject to certain fees. Registered Skype contact information may be included in the public Skype directory if this is authorized by users.
Skype uses a proprietary codec to facilitate phone and audio/video conferencing calls. Unlike other VoIP applications, Skype relies on servers and background device processing for communication.
Due to network policies, Skype is generally banned in organizations, including government, business, and university settings. Overall, network administrators maintain a unified stance on improper resource and security usage as pertaining to Skype.