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Skype File Transfer FAQ
What is a relayed transfer?
A relayed transfer means that you are unable to make a direct
connection to the other party because of your firewall or NAT (Network
Address Translation / router) configuration or that of the remote
party. In this case, the file transfer is relayed though other peers on
the network. When a transfer is relayed, Skype will limit the file
transfer speed to 0.5 kB/second. Only peers with plenty of available
bandwidth are used for relay purposes.Note
that if you were using another non-p2p application to attempt the
transfer, it's not likely you would be able to transfer anything at all!
We feel that a slower transfer is better than no transfer! You can read
more information below for technical tips on how to avoid relayed
transfers (or find a techie friend to help you).
Can other people or peers see the files I am sending?
No. All file transfers on Skype (relayed or direct) are
encrypted end-to-end just like Skype to Skype calls. This is to protect
your privacy when transferring information over the public Internet and
ensures that only you and your Contact will be able to view the file.
What can I do to avoid a relayed transfer? (Techies only!)
There is no simple answer to this question since there are so
many different types of network configurations. However, there are
several things you can do to ensure or at least improve the likelihood
that you will have a direct (and probably faster) transfer. Relayed
transfers are usually caused by the firewall/NAT/router not allowing
UDP packets out and their replies back in. Opening ports is usually not
necessary, but it can help in some cases, depending on the
firewall/NAT/router. It may help to consult your firewall/NAT vendor or
documentation to find out whether this is possible or how to configure
you firewall/NAT to allow UDP replies in (usually in the advanced
settings). About 75% of firewall/NAT/router's are "p2p-friendly" which
means that they are configured by default to let this traffic through
in a special way (technically, they allow "UDP Consistent
Translation"). If you are buying a new firewall/NAT/router, you should
look for one that is "p2p-friendly". You can also find out if your
firewall/NAT/router is "p2p friendly" by consulting the following list:
A "Yes" in the "UDP Consistent Translation" column indicates that the
firewall/NAT is "p2p-friendly" and will allow high-speed transfers. If
your device isn't listed, you can also run a program called NATcheck
which can be found at http://midcom-p2p.sourceforge.net/. Please help us and future users by submitting the results of your test to our forums. Note that Skype cannot take any responsibility for the content on non-Skype pages!