Saturday, July 16, 2011

What to do When Skype is Blocked

Several countries or regions of the world activity block Skype and other INTERNET based phone service like VoIP. They usually do this in order to support their local, monopoly phone company that charges extremely high rates on international calls. Another indirect tax on expats or visitors who want to call home.

Many of these countries are in the Middle East, like Kuwait, Jordan, Oman and the UAE. Some are in Asia, like China or South America like Brazil and Belize. In any case, international travelers or those who plan to stay for an extended period of time in a foreign country should be aware of this practice, do some research and find a suitable solution before traveling. One option is a VPN. A good VPN can by-pass the local block on the INTERNET and allow users to still use Skype. I have done this in Oman so I know it works. Those interested should do a search for VPN providers and intall and test it before traveling. Another option is callback phone service. One we have used from many locations is a web activated callback service offered by NW-IP the service provider who supports the popular Continental Phone Card. The nice thing about a callback service is that it can be used from any kind of phone (that can receive a direct call from overseas) and it can be used from any location in the world. We have used it from many countries because it is handy to make calls to land-lines and cell phones in other countries. There are many people who are not connected to Skype or not at their computers and Skype charges a lot for calls to phones. We have found callback to be useful and well worth the purchase of a phone card before leaving on a trip.

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