VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) allows you to communicate via voice, video chats and instant messages. The most popular VoIP service is Skype, which allows you call other Skype users for free, or make regular phone call at reduced rates. There are also free VoIP applications too like Empathy, Ekiga, Linphone, Google Talk and Redphone (Android only).However, VoIP applications are banned or blocked in many countries. This is usually because those governments wish to maintain telecommunications monopolies. VoIP poses a threat because it could lead to a huge loss in revenues from international calls. The countries that block VoIP include: China, Iran, UAE, Malaysia, Thailand, Belize, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, Indonesia and Singapore. In order to bypass the VoIP censorship in China, Skype decided to make a deal with the Chinese government and managed to build a joint venture called Tom. However, this system is known to be monitored and logged by the Chinese government.
The best way to bypass VoIP blocking is connect to a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN will reroute your internet traffic to other countries, and make your connections anonymous. In order to get a good connection speed, you should use a VPN with servers in a country close to you. For example, if you are in China, choose a VPN with servers in Hong Kong or Singapore (see my article The Best VPNs To Use In China for more info).
Using a VPN makes all your VoIP calls and chats encrypted too, meaning they will not be exposed to hackers or other eavesdroppers.
We recommend these services as the best VPN for Skype users:
- Private Internet Access (attention to privacy, good connection speeds)
- StrongVPN (very reliable, caters to travelers, but you must be comfortable setting things up manually)
- 12VPN (headquartered in Hong Kong — good for VoIP calls in Asia)
If you’d like to read full reviews of these VPNs, see my article The Best VPN Services Of 2013.