Skype outage affects millions of users

By on December 22, 2010, 2:40 PM
Popular VoIP service Skype appears to be suffering an outage this morning as many users complain of connection issues. The company hasn't released an estimated number of affected users, but ReadWriteWeb reports that usage numbers have fallen from 21 million to 10 million, which isn't isolated to any language or region.

Skype has officially acknowledged the problem but hasn't provided much information about the cause. It should supposedly be resolved in a few hours. "Some of you may have problems signing into Skype -- we're investigating, and we're sorry for the disruption to your conversations," the company said three hours ago via its Twitter account.


Interestingly, Skype's status monitor (heartbeat.skype.com) doesn't show any problems. All services are said to be working normally, with the last known issue dated Thursday, December 16. On that day, Skype reported "sign in and registration" issues among other difficulties, but it's unclear whether there is any correlation with today's outage.

Last month, Skype reached a milestone of 25 million simultaneous users. Many of those people rely on the service for work and other important duties, so the outage is undoubtedly a major inconvenience. The last major interruption occurred in 2007 and took 12-24 hours to resolve. As of writing, I remained unable to connect to the service.

Update: Skype said the issue stems from a number of "supernodes" being taken down. Supernodes supposedly act like phone directories for Skype and there are usually plenty available. Today, many were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype, so the service may appear offline for those users.

"Our engineers are creating new 'mega-supernodes' as fast as they can, which should gradually return things to normal. This may take a few hours, and we sincerely apologise for the disruption to your conversations. Some features, like group video calling, may take longer to return to normal," the company explained.




User Comments: 17

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With that many users, I think it's understandable to have technical difficulties from time to time. And you said the last interruption was in 2007, so, if you ask me, I would call their service rather efficient for the new number of users it has acquired in the past three years.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

The last *major* interruption occurred in 2007, at least as far as I know. The last documented interruption was only a few days ago though, on December 16.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Was unable to connect myself earlier today too, when I finally did make it I only saw a few million users online before being promptly disconnected =/ .

Gars Gars said:

lawfer said:

With that many users, I think it's understandable to have technical difficulties from time to time. And you said the last interruption was in 2007, so, if you ask me, I would call their service rather efficient for the new number of users it has acquired in the past three years.

bad platform

bad coding

put new release [5] untested to the masses

congrats

//you make your self unusable

Gars Gars said:

and if my friend was connected to the skype

probably ill be denied to solf the problem

sneaky bastards...

g4mer said:

I was just searching on Google for this problem when i found this. I'm glad I'm not the only one having this problem.

Guest said:

I have been signed in all week and when i got on this morning I was still signed in however, I was not "online." It somehow connects for a few minutes but then disconnects me soon after before i have time to make a call. This problem needs to be fixed fast!

Tedster Tedster, Techspot old timer....., said:

As of 2100 hours today eastern time, skype has been out all day for me. I live near Savannah, GA.

Guest said:

Has been out all day here in Kansas City, MO. Epic fail!

Guest said:

Here in Australia Skype has been offline for 12+ hours. While I don't generally believe in conspiracy theories, this outage is a little suspect. Was it a hacker? A rogue government? A competitor? We'll find out in due course.

Guest said:

it have problem in HK from 0730 until now 1430.

Guest said:

It's 2:10 eastern Standard Time on Dec 23rd. Contrary to what FOX news posted Yesterday about Skype being all happy now -- the service is still shaky for many, many users. I am a PAYING SUBSCRIBER and skype has been unavailable since YESTERDAY. I can't even log in.

If FOX is LYING (& FOX won that privilege in court); --Then SKYPE is LYING.

From "MEGA"Nodes to "SuperMega"Nodes; --we have a term for this in IP circles. It's called "All your eggs in one basket - technology."

Considering a stock buy? Scratch SKYPE. G00GLE will most likely eat the likes of them.

Guest said:

You DON'T screw around with something that has been working 2 days before Christmas.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

While a Skype outage is an inconvenience especially at this time of the year, I don't find myself getting worked up about it. It is a free service after all and if the outage lasts, then there's always e-mail or even the good old telephone for getting in touch with someone.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

fpsgamerJR62 said:

While a Skype outage is an inconvenience especially at this time of the year, I don't find myself getting worked up about it. It is a free service after all and if the outage lasts, then there's always e-mail or even the good old telephone for getting in touch with someone.

I agree that for the free users, there's no need to get worked up. But for paying users and businesses who use skype for...well...business, there is a slight need to get upset. I don't know about hootin and hollerin over it, but to each his own, I guess. I do hope that this is fixed by Christmas morning. My wife and child are in Michigan and I would really like to see my daughter open her presents Christmas morning...although, gmail also has a video chat feature, so I guess it aint that bad, lol.

Guest said:

Skype is only a free service if you are using it as a PC to PC based method of communication. If you are however a paying subscriber (like myself) you can make land-line & cellular calls internationally for greatly reduced rates compared to other typical long distance providers. I use this service on an Android platform, LinuxPC platform, Windoows Mobile platform, Blackberry device, Win XP, and Win 7 computer. As big as this company has become with over 25 million subscribers worldwide, this incident poses a major drawback for Skype's credible reputation. Offering voice services in the US for most land-line based phone providers requires 99.99% reliability according to the demands of the FCC. Skype must step up to the challenge. Stop bothering with negotiations with other phone & chat organizations over things like exclusivity, 3G/4G usage for calls, and also work with their own team of developers to make the platform use less resources while not in a chat or call.

All of these items including the outage have been a HUGE inconvenience for me and yet they carry the best solution for my needs. Give me Skype without the BS and I'll be a happy camper.

Currently at 2:24PM Dec 23rd, I am back online in North Carolina, USA.

Tedster Tedster, Techspot old timer....., said:

Skype is NOT free unless you use a computer to computer connection. I am a paying customer.

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