Many people wonder why, despite having far above Skype’s recommended 1-2 Mbps download speed, they still experience lag and freezing frames when they chat on Skype. Many people blame Skype for the poor service, only to switch to another video chat service and experience the same skipping audio and video.
Most Likely Explanation: Poor Upload Speeds
Skype is one of the few activities most people do that requires consistent upload speeds. Browsing and streaming are almost exclusively downloading activities, so your Internet might seem to be working completely fine when you do those things. But with Skype, you need more upload speed. So your ISP might be to blame for all the skipping.
Even if you have 6-40 Mbps download speeds, you may only get 512 Kbps upload speeds or less. DSL often has the problem of fast download speed and slow upload speeds. In order to compete with cable and fiber download speeds most DSL providers use technology (like ADSL) that converts most of your wire into download-ready wire, but that means very little is left for upload speeds.
Our free speed test tool will help you determine what your current upload speeds are. You need speeds of at least 500 Kbps for Skyping with good video quality.
Next-Most-Common Problem: Too Much Latency
If you used our speed test tool and have at least 500 Kbps, take note of your “ping,” which should be somewhere under 15ms. If you’re seeing ping above 50-100ms, latency may be your problem. High ping will often result in significant delays or calls dropping for a few seconds at a time.
If high latency (ping) is your issue, upgrading packages is unlikely to result in any significant improvement. You can, however, call your current provider and request they have a technician look into it. Cable and DSL providers can check that your connection is working properly. If you’re using wireless Internet make sure your line of sight is clear and not blocked by trees or other houses. If you’re using satellite Internet – tough luck, it’s going to have a delay.
If your provider is unable to resolve your latency issues, switching providers might be your only option.
If your ping and bandwidth are in order, check the following:
Try plugging Ethernet into your router rather than using Wi-Fi. Wireless Internet is more prone to delays and interference from other nearby signals that could disrupt the call.
Make sure Skype is up-to-date, and that it’s not getting blocked by any firewalls you’re using.
Check on other programs running in the background. Streaming Netflix while pretending you’re listening to mom could make for a less-than-smooth experience – in more ways than one.
Make sure no one else in your household is using the Internet. If your significant other is uploading or downloading torrents they could just be hogging all your bandwidth.
If you’re using Windows 8… first of all, why are you using Windows 8? Upgrade to Windows 10. Make sure you’re using the install version of Skype and not the Windows 8 Skype app, which is awful.
Hopefully we’ve helped you diagnose your problems with Skype. If you’re experiencing other problems, they’re probably related to Skype’s software, which only Skype can help you with. Remember, Skype isn’t your only video chat option. Happy chatting.
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