Skype has been around for the best part of 20 years, providing its millions of users with free voice and video calls on pretty much any internet-enabled device. However, security flaws have made users seek extra protection, and the service is even blocked in some countries. Our best VPN for Skype picks will help you access the service and stay protected while doing so.
If you need a quick fix, then your best bet is to install ExpressVPN. It’s the best Skype VPN due to its server coverage, fast speeds and excellent security. By using it, you’ll be able to connect to a country where Skype is freely available. Plus, all of your traffic will be encrypted and hidden, and your connection won’t be intercepted or monitored.
Individuals and businesses alike use Skype or other voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services to make one-to-one and group calls or video chats online. It can also be used to send instant messages or share files. It’s free to use, and it only costs money if you use its premium features, like voicemail or text messages and calls outside of Skype.
However, in many countries, Skype is either limited or banned completely. There are a few reasons for that — which we’ll get to later in this article — but the upshot is that using a decent virtual private network can help you access the service in a safe way. In this article, we’ll tell you how to pick the best VPN for the service, why you need a VPN and why using a free VPN isn’t a good idea.
The Best VPN for Skype
- Private Internet Access
ExpressVPN is often voted as the top VPN in our articles, but it’s for good reason. It’s a top performer in most of our tests, and it meets all the criteria needed to be a decent VPN for Skype.
It has more than 3,000 servers covering 94 countries, so you should have no problem finding one that can access Skype. There are no bandwidth limits, meaning you won’t get cut off mid-call, and it’s the fastest VPN we’ve tested to date. Those two features helped ExpressVPN win our best VPN for streaming and best VPN for Netflix comparisons.
ExpressVPN’s security is top-notch, even being a top pick for our best VPN for China piece. By default, it uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is the recommended standard. You’ll also be protected by a kill switch that’s automatically enabled. You can turn it off, but we don’t recommend it. There’s a strict no-logs policy in place, too.
If you’re a beginner, ExpressVPN is a great choice due to its easy-to-use interface. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can easily choose what country you want to connect to and quickly connect to a server there. It can be used on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Read our ExpressVPN review for more on that.
Unfortunately, ExpressVPN’s price doesn’t hold the same applause as its other features. It’s expensive. That said, you get a lot for your money, and you can’t beat its speeds or stability. Plus, you can save money by signing up for a longer plan, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on.
- Servers in 94 countries
- Excellent security
NordVPN is another top contender in the VPN ring and is comparable to our winner, as you can read in our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN piece. However, it misses the top spot because of speed issues.
It has more servers than ExpressVPN, with more than 5,000 in its pool, but with 58 countries listed, it doesn’t quite have the same coverage. That’s nothing to be sniffed at, though, and it should be plenty for finding a server that works with Skype.
Speed-wise, NordVPN is generally fast, but if you’re connecting to a server far away, it can be slow. However, you do get unlimited bandwidth.
The security department is where NordVPN really shines, though. It uses AES 256-bit encryption straight out of the box, but you can also use its double-hop servers, which basically add another layer of encryption to your connection. There’s also a kill switch, and it keeps no logs whatsoever. It’s no wonder NordVPN is our best VPN for torrenting.
NordVPN can be used on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, with a user-friendly interface. Read our NordVPN review to get a better picture.
If you need a more wallet-friendly provider and can sacrifice ExpressVPN’s rapid and consistent speeds, NordVPN is the next best thing. It offers good value for your money. Plus, if you opt for a plan longer than its monthly one, you’ll save money in the end. There’s a 30-day refund window, too, in case you change your mind.
- Large server network
- Fast on certain servers
- Double-hop encryption
- Inconsistent speed across the network
CyberGhost is another great service that seems to get better with each update. Its server network is similar to NordVPN’s, with more than 5,000 in 89 countries. Those numbers do tend to change a lot, but it’s always in that range. Plus, for a small fee, you can use CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers, which sit outside of the 14 Eyes and are set up with premium hardware.
Its speeds are fast, but again, like NordVPN, they can slow down over long distances (read our NordVPN vs CyberGhost piece for an overall comparison). There are no bandwidth caps to worry about, and a no-logs policy is in place, so your online activities won’t be recorded.
Security is good and uses AES 256-bit encryption from the get-go. A kill switch is included, too, only CyberGhost’s is a little different than our other picks — it’s permanently enabled, so you can’t control it. On the one hand, it’s good because you don’t have to worry about turning it on. On the other hand, it’d be nice to at least have the option.
You can install CyberGhost on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Its interface is a little weird at first, but once you get used to it, it’s easy to use. You can read more about that in our CyberGhost review, though.
CyberGhost’s prices aren’t bad, though the monthly option isn’t the most cost-effective choice. By subscribing for a longer period, you’ll see some savings.
Android and iOS users can take advantage of its seven-day free trial, while desktop users only get one day. It does have a money-back guarantee, though, which is for 14 days on the monthly plan and 45 days for longer ones, and it’s easy to get a CyberGhost refund.
- Large server network
- NoSpy servers
- Automatic kill switch
- No kill switch controls
- Can be slow
4. Private Internet Access
Next up is Private Internet Access, which is a great, no-frills service. It has more than 3,000 servers, but they cover only 29 countries and are mostly in the U.S. That should still be plenty for accessing Skype, but it’s nowhere near the same level as our other picks.
PIA comes with unlimited bandwidth, and its speeds are fast but can be inconsistent. Plus, a lot of its speed is due to the fact that it installs with lighter encryption. By default, it uses AES 128-bit encryption, but to be better protected, we recommend you increase it to AES 256-bit. A kill switch is also included with the service.
It honors your privacy with a strict no-logs policy and has been proven to stand by it, as you can read in our PIA review.
It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and is the best VPN for Linux due to it having a proper client. The interface is easy to use once set up, but it’s tied to the tray, so it can be a little annoying. The settings menu opens in a separate window, though.
PIA is one of the cheapest VPNs on the market that doesn’t skimp on its service. It offers one plan across multiple durations, with longer durations having a larger discount. A seven-day refund period is in place, in case you don’t like it.
- Interface is tied to the tray
- Inconsistent speeds
Our last pick is VyprVPN, which is a decent VPN that’s big on security. One of the reasons it comes last, though, is its lacking server spread. Granted, its servers cover more than 60 countries, but its grand total is less than 1,000 servers.
You should still be able to find a Skype-suitable server, but its speeds are another issue. Although they’re fine for most activities, when compared to our other picks, it’s slow. You do get unlimited bandwidth, though.
As for protection and privacy, you’re covered by some excellent and customizable security. There are different protocols to choose from, one of them being VyprVPN’s own Chameleon protocol, which basically makes it look like you’re not even using a VPN. A kill switch is included, too, and the company doesn’t keep logs.
Although this article is aimed at people using Skype, we thought we should tell privacy-conscious readers that Golden Frog, the company behind VyprVPN, also has additional privacy services available.
One of those is its encrypted messaging app, Cyphr. It’s free and easy to use — you just need to make sure the person you’re contacting is using it as well.
You can use VyprVPN on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It has some of the finest mobile apps available, making it one of our best VPN for Android picks. Its interface is a little dated, but it’s still easy to use, as you can read in our VyprVPN review.
VyprVPN’s price depends on which package you want. The Standard plan comes with three simultaneous connections, but the Premium plan comes with five connections and the use of its Chameleon protocol. Longer plans make it more affordable, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Proprietary Chameleon protocol
- Several protocol options
- Advanced features & settings
- Mediocre speeds
- Lacking server spread
How We Chose the Best VPN for Skype
Choosing a VPN for Skype isn’t a case of whether it can access the service, because Skype doesn’t block people that are using VPNs. What you need is a VPN that can get you around country-specific blocks or bans to Skype, and one that will keep you safe while doing so. For that reason, it should meet the criteria below.
If you’re in a country that blocks access to the service, you’ll need to be able to connect to a country where it’s freely available. By choosing a VPN that has a good server spread, you give yourself more chance of circumventing that block.
On top of that, you might want to call people in many different parts of the world, and a large server network will allow you to do that.
Speed and Bandwidth
To ensure you get the best possible connection, you need to make sure you pick a VPN with fast speeds. If you don’t, your call quality can suffer. Video resolution can be poor and you could experience lag. You also want to make sure it has enough bandwidth, so you don’t get cut off mid-call.
Now that we’ve gotten past the features that will help you access Skype, we’ll talk about security. It’s important that you choose a VPN with good security, especially if you’re in a country that makes accessing VoIP illegal.
Good security will hide you from prying eyes, so nobody will know you’re even using the service. Strong encryption is crucial for staying protected, and the VPN should use AES 256-bit as standard, or at least let you change it to that. To go with that security, it should include a kill switch, which will sever your connection if the VPN fails, keeping you and your data safe.
Your privacy is just as important. If you pick a VPN that doesn’t have a strict no-logs policy — or perhaps even that says it does but doesn’t honor it — you could get into a messy situation.
A no-logs policy means just that: the company won’t keep a log of your online activities. If they did and authorities asked for them, they could potentially hand over information that includes everything you’ve done online.
Why Do I Need a VPN for Skype?
Although Skype is just a service that enables you to make calls to friends, family or colleagues online, there are a couple of reasons why you should — or would need to — use a VPN with it. It may be that your school or college has blocked access to Skype and other social media apps on its network, and you could read our best VPN for school for that, but there are other reasons, too.
Country Blocks and Bans
Firstly, there are many countries that prohibit the use of VoIP services, including Skype. China — let alone North Korea — is a great example of that.
Pretty much any Western content or services are banned by China’s Great Firewall and are replaced by the country’s own versions. For instance, Renren is the Chinese version of Facebook, and WeChat is their answer to WhatsApp.
VoIP is not completely banned over there, but it only lets you use Chinese services, which are most likely heavily monitored. Trying to access a banned service, such as Skype, in a country that controls its citizens is a bad idea. Its government is watching every move made online — and offline — so using a VPN to cover your digital tracks is a must.
Not only that, but if you try to download Skype while in China without a VPN, you’ll most likely end up with a Chinese version that’s compliant with the Chinese government, meaning it’s being monitored.
Oman and Kuwait are among the countries that ban the use of VoIP services, too. In other countries, such as Belize and Brazil, VoIP isn’t flat-out banned, but there are restrictions. Internet service providers (ISPs) block access to certain services and only allow people to use their own so that they benefit.
In other circumstances, the government can request that such services are blocked except for those that are owned by the government. That way, they can monitor people’s communications.
Skype’s Security Flaws
Another reason to use a VPN with Skype is that although its calls and messages are encrypted, they don’t have end-to-end protection.
Messages are regularly scanned for evidence of fraud, which can only mean the service is able to decrypt them. This shows that your private messages aren’t entirely private, and if authorities wanted access, they would only need to request it.
We can’t be 100 percent certain that a VPN would stop Microsoft from identifying you since you’ve had to make an account, but it will help with privacy and keep you protected from outside sources.
Can I Use a Free VPN for Skype?
Not all free VPNs are bad (take a look at our Windsscribe review and TunnelBear review), but a lot of the free VPNs that advertise themselves as good are nowhere near that statement.
Our worst free VPN providers piece is enough to raise your eyebrows, but in short, some of those VPNs that claim to have excellent encryption either use a lower encryption rate or, worse, none at all. That would be very bad in certain countries, and we recommend that you steer clear of any that you’re unsure of.
Other VPNs are simply there to look pretty, and instead of protecting you, they’re siphoning your traffic data off to other companies in exchange for some dollars.
Plus, some of the so-called VPNs are purposely riddled with malware, and once you install it, you’re going to be left with more than just some privacy issues to sort out (thought a decent antivirus can help).
If you’re in a country that bans or blocks access to Skype, we hope we’ve helped you choose a VPN that’ll get you in there. Otherwise, you should now know why a VPN is imperative for privacy and security. Whatever your reason for needing one, make sure it has a good server network and fast speeds, as well as excellent security to keep you safe.
Have you used a VPN for Skype? If you have, tell us about your experience in the comment section below. Check out our other VPN articles while you’re here, too. As always, thank you for reading.