skype broadband usage?

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Beck, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. Beck

    Beck Guest

    My brother has just joined up to Skype and I might consider joining myself.
    Am wondering about what sort of bandwidth voip uses generally?
     
    Beck, Apr 22, 2006
    #1
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  2. Beck

    Guest

    On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 15:06:12 +0100, "Beck" <>
    wrote:

    >My brother has just joined up to Skype and I might consider joining myself.
    >Am wondering about what sort of bandwidth voip uses generally?


    Two different questions.

    VOIP uses around 80kb/sec each way when in a call, and almost none the
    rest of the time.

    Skype is a peer-peer application, and if you have an always-on
    connection it can use, it may well pass other people's calls via your
    connection to get through firewalls and NAT routers. So it may pass
    traffic when you are not making calls. That means there is no way to
    know how much data will be transferred.
     
    , Apr 22, 2006
    #2
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  3. On Sat, 22 Apr 2006, wrote:

    > Skype is a peer-peer application, and if you have an always-on
    > connection it can use, it may well pass other people's calls via your
    > connection to get through firewalls and NAT routers.


    I don't use Skype, but I have read the protocol study at
    http://www.cs.columbia.edu/techreports/cucs-039-04.pdf

    > So it may pass traffic when you are not making calls.


    yes, if you're selected as a supernode, apparently.

    In section 1 it says that "Any node with a public IP address[...]
    is a candidate to become a super node".

    I had read that as implying that if you were behind a NAT router, you
    wouldn't be elegible to become a supernode.

    However, in 2.6 it says [...]a Skype client cannot prevent itself
    from becoming a super node.

    > That means there is no way to know how much data will be
    > transferred.


    Indeed this would be a risk for anyone who pays for data volume, or
    gets capped if they exceed some limit. Maybe(?) what the sentence in
    section 2.6 means is that the S/C software itself has no option to
    disable becoming a supernode. But if one can manipulate one's network
    situation - by NAT gateway or firewall - maybe it's possible to defeat
    this from happening?

    I don't really know - just putting it up for discussion...
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Apr 22, 2006
    #3
  4. Beck

    Paul Cupis Guest

    wrote:
    > VOIP uses around 80kb/sec each way when in a call, and almost none the
    > rest of the time.


    I think that the bandwidth usage is dependant at least partly on the
    codec being used.
     
    Paul Cupis, Apr 23, 2006
    #4
  5. Beck

    Ivor Jones Guest

    "Paul Cupis" <> wrote in message
    news:e2egi4$1bl2$
    > wrote:
    > > VOIP uses around 80kb/sec each way when in a call, and
    > > almost none the rest of the time.

    >
    > I think that the bandwidth usage is dependant at least
    > partly on the codec being used.


    True, but that figure assumes the use of G711 which is probably the most
    commonly used one.

    Ivor
     
    Ivor Jones, Apr 23, 2006
    #5
  6. Beck

    Paul Cupis Guest

    Ivor Jones wrote:
    > [G711] is probably the most commonly used [VoIP protocol]


    Do you have any data to back this up, please?
     
    Paul Cupis, Apr 23, 2006
    #6
  7. Beck

    Nho Whei Guest

    On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 18:45:29 +0100, "Alan J. Flavell"
    <> wrote:

    >On Sat, 22 Apr 2006, wrote:
    >
    >> Skype is a peer-peer application, and if you have an always-on
    >> connection it can use, it may well pass other people's calls via your
    >> connection to get through firewalls and NAT routers.

    >
    >I don't use Skype, but I have read the protocol study at
    >http://www.cs.columbia.edu/techreports/cucs-039-04.pdf
    >
    >> So it may pass traffic when you are not making calls.

    >
    >yes, if you're selected as a supernode, apparently.
    >
    >In section 1 it says that "Any node with a public IP address[...]
    >is a candidate to become a super node".
    >
    >I had read that as implying that if you were behind a NAT router, you
    >wouldn't be elegible to become a supernode.
    >
    >However, in 2.6 it says [...]a Skype client cannot prevent itself
    >from becoming a super node.
    >
    >> That means there is no way to know how much data will be
    >> transferred.

    >
    >Indeed this would be a risk for anyone who pays for data volume, or
    >gets capped if they exceed some limit. Maybe(?) what the sentence in
    >section 2.6 means is that the S/C software itself has no option to
    >disable becoming a supernode. But if one can manipulate one's network
    >situation - by NAT gateway or firewall - maybe it's possible to defeat
    >this from happening?
    >
    >I don't really know - just putting it up for discussion...

    Hmmm ... a tad disconcerting, this aspect of Skype. In the hope of
    limiting such usage, I've unticked Options/Connection/Use port 80 &
    443. Not sure if it really helps though. The other measures I take are
    probably more certain of success. I don't auto start Skype. I fire it
    up only when I need to use it, quitting it when done, and since I tend
    to only use Skypeout, not being online at other times isn't a problem
    for me.
    I do this only cause I regularly burst my monthly datacap. Otherwise I
    wouldn't bother.
     
    Nho Whei, Apr 23, 2006
    #7
  8. In article <>,
    "Alan J. Flavell" <> writes:
    > On Sat, 22 Apr 2006, wrote:
    >
    >> Skype is a peer-peer application, and if you have an always-on
    >> connection it can use, it may well pass other people's calls via your
    >> connection to get through firewalls and NAT routers.

    >
    > I don't use Skype, but I have read the protocol study at
    > http://www.cs.columbia.edu/techreports/cucs-039-04.pdf
    >
    >> So it may pass traffic when you are not making calls.

    >
    > yes, if you're selected as a supernode, apparently.
    >
    > In section 1 it says that "Any node with a public IP address[...]
    > is a candidate to become a super node".


    IME, you become a supernode in well under a minute of going online.
    In my observing, you _always_ become a supernode.

    > I had read that as implying that if you were behind a NAT router, you
    > wouldn't be elegible to become a supernode.
    >
    >> That means there is no way to know how much data will be
    >> transferred.

    >
    > Indeed this would be a risk for anyone who pays for data volume, or
    > gets capped if they exceed some limit. Maybe(?) what the sentence in
    > section 2.6 means is that the S/C software itself has no option to
    > disable becoming a supernode. But if one can manipulate one's network
    > situation - by NAT gateway or firewall - maybe it's possible to defeat
    > this from happening?
    >
    > I don't really know - just putting it up for discussion...


    I setup my parents' home network. They have real IP addresses
    (the family's SIP and STUN servers are on their line). When a
    visitor with Skype turned up, their laptop (with Skype installed
    but not being used) rapidly started burning up the ADSL bandwidth
    (I suspect it was using all the upstream bandwidth). Initially
    I thought it was a virus -- I could see the laptop making TCP
    connections all around the world, and firing off lots of UDP.
    I changed the DHCP server to hand out private network addresses
    and the problem was solved. Then I realised it was Skype.

    --
    Andrew Gabriel
     
    Andrew Gabriel, Apr 23, 2006
    #8
  9. Beck

    Ivor Jones Guest

    "Paul Cupis" <> wrote in message
    news:e2egrm$1bl2$
    > Ivor Jones wrote:
    > > [G711] is probably the most commonly used [VoIP
    > > protocol]

    >
    > Do you have any data to back this up, please?


    Other than it's been the default setting in every ATA I've ever used, no.
    But I'd guess it's true, I'd guess most novice users wouldn't tinker. I
    did say "probably" ;-)

    Ivor
     
    Ivor Jones, Apr 23, 2006
    #9
  10. Beck

    Beck Guest

    wrote:
    > On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 15:06:12 +0100, "Beck" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> My brother has just joined up to Skype and I might consider joining
    >> myself. Am wondering about what sort of bandwidth voip uses
    >> generally?

    >
    > Two different questions.
    >
    > VOIP uses around 80kb/sec each way when in a call, and almost none the
    > rest of the time.
    >
    > Skype is a peer-peer application, and if you have an always-on
    > connection it can use, it may well pass other people's calls via your
    > connection to get through firewalls and NAT routers. So it may pass
    > traffic when you are not making calls. That means there is no way to
    > know how much data will be transferred.


    Thanks for the information.
    Taking a particular company out of the equation like Skype, is VOIP free
    between VOIP users generally?
     
    Beck, Apr 23, 2006
    #10
  11. Beck

    J C Guest

    Andrew Gabriel wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > "Alan J. Flavell" <> writes:
    >> On Sat, 22 Apr 2006, wrote:
    >>
    >>> Skype is a peer-peer application, and if you have an always-on
    >>> connection it can use, it may well pass other people's calls via
    >>> your connection to get through firewalls and NAT routers.

    >>
    >> I don't use Skype, but I have read the protocol study at
    >> http://www.cs.columbia.edu/techreports/cucs-039-04.pdf
    >>
    >>> So it may pass traffic when you are not making calls.

    >>
    >> yes, if you're selected as a supernode, apparently.
    >>
    >> In section 1 it says that "Any node with a public IP address[...]
    >> is a candidate to become a super node".

    >
    > IME, you become a supernode in well under a minute of going online.
    > In my observing, you _always_ become a supernode.
    >
    >> I had read that as implying that if you were behind a NAT router, you
    >> wouldn't be elegible to become a supernode.
    >>
    >>> That means there is no way to know how much data will be
    >>> transferred.

    >>
    >> Indeed this would be a risk for anyone who pays for data volume, or
    >> gets capped if they exceed some limit. Maybe(?) what the sentence in
    >> section 2.6 means is that the S/C software itself has no option to
    >> disable becoming a supernode. But if one can manipulate one's
    >> network situation - by NAT gateway or firewall - maybe it's possible
    >> to defeat this from happening?
    >>
    >> I don't really know - just putting it up for discussion...

    >
    > I setup my parents' home network. They have real IP addresses
    > (the family's SIP and STUN servers are on their line). When a
    > visitor with Skype turned up, their laptop (with Skype installed
    > but not being used) rapidly started burning up the ADSL bandwidth
    > (I suspect it was using all the upstream bandwidth). Initially
    > I thought it was a virus -- I could see the laptop making TCP
    > connections all around the world, and firing off lots of UDP.
    > I changed the DHCP server to hand out private network addresses
    > and the problem was solved. Then I realised it was Skype.


    I don't see how this could have helped. Your visitor should still have been
    able to use the Internet of course and Skype would still have been useable.
    From what I've read it's (by design) very difficult to prevent Skype
    working, except locally, I think I've read someone that it's possible by
    blocking an initial call to a particular ip address but AFAICT the only way
    is by packet inspection on the firewall.
     
    J C, Apr 23, 2006
    #11
  12. In article <>,
    "J C" <> writes:
    >
    > I don't see how this could have helped. Your visitor should still have been
    > able to use the Internet of course and Skype would still have been useable.


    It was. The only difference was that buy giving him a NAT'ed
    private network address, the PC stopped becoming a Skype
    supernode, and relaying other peoples' calls (and using up
    a large chunk of the ADSL bandwidth).

    > From what I've read it's (by design) very difficult to prevent Skype
    > working, except locally, I think I've read someone that it's possible by
    > blocking an initial call to a particular ip address but AFAICT the only way
    > is by packet inspection on the firewall.


    I wasn't trying to stop Skype working -- some visitors need
    to use it to keep in touch with relatives abroad. I was just
    trying to stop it being used by other people too. That ADSL
    line has a low cap on it, reflecting my parents' low usage,
    but if it sat there for a few days running as a Skype
    supernode, this would have exhausted the usage on it, and
    it could have easily happened without me noticing.

    --
    Andrew Gabriel
     
    Andrew Gabriel, Apr 23, 2006
    #12
  13. Beck

    J C Guest

    Andrew Gabriel wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > "J C" <> writes:


    > I wasn't trying to stop Skype working -- some visitors need
    > to use it to keep in touch with relatives abroad. I was just
    > trying to stop it being used by other people too. That ADSL
    > line has a low cap on it, reflecting my parents' low usage,
    > but if it sat there for a few days running as a Skype
    > supernode, this would have exhausted the usage on it, and
    > it could have easily happened without me noticing.


    I didn't know it was possible to stop it working in supernode mode, not an
    expert on skype but I understand it (as well) it can and often does work in
    that way whether you want it to or not. I can't see the difference between
    manually handing out ip addresses and letting dhcp hand them out (from
    Skypes point of view).
     
    J C, Apr 23, 2006
    #13
  14. In article <>,
    "J C" <> writes:
    >
    > I didn't know it was possible to stop it working in supernode mode, not an
    > expert on skype but I understand it (as well) it can and often does work in
    > that way whether you want it to or not. I can't see the difference between
    > manually handing out ip addresses and letting dhcp hand them out (from
    > Skypes point of view).


    Sorry, nothing to do with DHCP -- that was being use in both cases.
    However, it was originally handing out real IP addresses, and I
    changed it so it was handing out private network addresses, and
    that stopped the laptop becoming a supernode.

    --
    Andrew Gabriel
     
    Andrew Gabriel, Apr 23, 2006
    #14
  15. Beck

    Guest

    On Sun, 23 Apr 2006 04:38:58 +0100, "Beck" <>
    wrote:

    >Taking a particular company out of the equation like Skype, is VOIP free
    >between VOIP users generally?


    Yes, it can be, but no it usually isn't. I know a few people who use
    VOIP and I could call them free by "dialling" their VOIP address or
    IP, but I can't be bothered, and I dial their normal VOIP phone
    number.

    In theory that would cost money, but I use voip.co.uk so the call is
    2p weekday peak time, and free at all other times. Not worth faffing
    to save tuppence.

    If there is someone you call regularly over VOIP it might be
    worthwhile to do it the free way.
     
    , Apr 23, 2006
    #15
  16. Beck

    Ivor Jones Guest

    "Beck" <> wrote in message
    news:444af6d5$0$2532$

    [snip]

    > Thanks for the information.
    > Taking a particular company out of the equation like
    > Skype, is VOIP free between VOIP users generally?


    As long as they are using the same provider or there is a peering
    agreement in place between the relevant providers, yes. Or if you can dial
    using IP addresses or the full SIP address ( or
    whatever) then it should also work.

    If you dial on a normal phone using an assigned PSTN number then if there
    is no peering agreement it will (probably) be charged.

    Ivor
     
    Ivor Jones, Apr 23, 2006
    #16
  17. Beck

    datemas Guest

    Hi Beck

    On calls about 1mb per minute- I have satellite capped at 128mb upload per
    month and had to stop using it- try a google search for Netmeter- install
    and check out for yourself.



    "Beck" <> wrote in message
    news:444a3865$0$2527$...
    > My brother has just joined up to Skype and I might consider joining
    > myself.
    > Am wondering about what sort of bandwidth voip uses generally?
    >
     
    datemas, Apr 23, 2006
    #17
  18. Beck

    Andy Furniss Guest

    wrote:

    >
    > VOIP uses around 80kb/sec each way when in a call, and almost none the
    > rest of the time.


    Assuming that's at IP level and 50 pps then it will use 106kbit on a dsl
    line. I am not saying you will be charged at that rate - I don't know
    what level ISPs bill at, but it will use that much out of your
    288/448kbit showtime rate.

    Andy.
     
    Andy Furniss, Apr 24, 2006
    #18
  19. Andy Furniss <> wrote:
    [...]
    > Assuming that's at IP level and 50 pps then it will use 106kbit on a dsl
    > line. I am not saying you will be charged at that rate - I don't know what
    > level ISPs bill at, but it will use that much out of your 288/448kbit
    > showtime rate.


    Metering of Internet traffic is normally done at the IP layer because that's
    what networking hardware tends to count.

    --
    Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.
    - Quentin Crisp
     
    Peter Corlett, Apr 24, 2006
    #19
  20. Beck

    Andy Furniss Guest

    Peter Corlett wrote:
    > Andy Furniss <> wrote:
    > [...]
    >
    >>Assuming that's at IP level and 50 pps then it will use 106kbit on a dsl
    >>line. I am not saying you will be charged at that rate - I don't know what
    >>level ISPs bill at, but it will use that much out of your 288/448kbit
    >>showtime rate.

    >
    >
    > Metering of Internet traffic is normally done at the IP layer because that's
    > what networking hardware tends to count.
    >


    Maybe, maybe not with dsl, and it may vary from ISP to ISP depending on
    what sort of BT central they have. I'll be on a metered max soon so will
    have more of a clue for my future ISP. I have read posts from plusnet
    support that said it wasn't just IP.

    Andy.
     
    Andy Furniss, Apr 24, 2006
    #20
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