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How Skype works
How Skype works
How Skype works
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How Skype works

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How skype works. A summary with animation.

How skype works. A summary with animation.

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  • 1. HTTP Servers for authentication & updates
    Normal skype clients
    Mandatory Super Nodes
    (Super Nodes always)
    Super Nodes
    (normal skype clients elevated to SN status)
    • There are few servers (I assume they are only in US for this case) centrally which are HTTP servers & mandatory super nodes
    • 2. HTTP Servers are used for Authentication & updates
    • 3. Super nodes maintain the network connectivity and connect to “clients”
    • 4. Basically your laptop can be a Super Node if you’ve sufficient processing power, network bandwidth.
    • 5. Mandatory super nodes are specified by Skype to ensure reliable network connectivity during off peak hours or low usage periods
  • HTTP Servers for authentication & updates
    Normal skype clients
    Mandatory Super Nodes
    (Super Nodes always)
    Super Nodes
    (normal skype clients elevated to SN status)
    • When a client comes online it connects with the HTTP server for authentication
    • 6. Then it connects to a super node / or became super node
    • 7. When a call is initiated between two skype clients, the traffic doesn’t go to the central server. That’s how they ensure the connectivity without huge infra in place.
    • 8. As shown in the above example, super nodes carry the traffic between two clients. In an ideal situation we can hope the client connects to the nearest/best connected super node thus ensuring the shortest/best network route.
    • 9. Imagine your laptop is the ‘super node’ then without your knowledge you are ‘helping or serving’ other skype users by carrying your traffic
  • HTTP Servers for authentication & updates
    Normal skype clients
    Mandatory Super Nodes
    (Super Nodes always)
    Super Nodes
    (normal skype clients elevated to SN status)
    • As seen in previous slide “ideal situation “ we can hope skype clients connecting to the nearest super node.
    • 10. However, if the super node fails, or due to whatever reason there is no near super node or due to whatever reason the super node cannot establish a direct connectivity with destination super node then it’ll connect to a different super node
    • 11. As shown in above animation, if you are calling from Australia, to somewhere in afghanistan, the call may be routed to africa, south america, then europe before finally connecting both A-party & B-party.
    • 12. In a broadband user context it won’t make any big different. The overall latency will be still within a good VoIP conversation requirement (50 milli seconds).
    • 13. It can be a big problem if the user is on a narrow band connection or on a low bandwidth connection.

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