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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 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!
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