The University has taken the decision to allow the use of Skype in a controlled manner. This change partially relaxes the ban which was made with good reasons of concern about excessive bandwith use that could potentially compromise the University's core activities of teaching, learning and research. A group from OUCS including Alan Gay, Patrick Green, Oliver Gorwits and myself has engaged in detailed discussions with senior people from Skype, several ITSS, and the appropriate University Committees.
As part of OUCS's ongoing commitment to provide services for you and your users we are pleased then to announce that Skype may now be used on the University Network, subject to the setup instructions to be found at www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/network/voip/skype.xml. These instructions refer to Skype on a Windows XP platform but similar installations are also allowed on other Skype-supported platforms. The important thing is to switch off listening on ports 80 and 443 and to make sure the port Skype does listen on is 41234.
To install and use Skype without making the required configuration settings will be seen in the same light as using any software that is banned from the College Network.
The full details for installing and using Skype can be found at the link above, but to briefly outline the configuration changes required:
- OUCS strongly recommends that you do not tick the "Sign me in when Skype starts" box as that means anyone could use your Skype account from the computer you are on in the future without you knowing about it - and that could be very embarrassing!
- It is also required that you untick the "Start Skype when the computer starts" box.
- Once you are logged in you must go to the "Tools" menu and select "Options" from the bottom of that menu. That will take you to the Options screen. You must set the port for incoming connections to 41234 and you must untick the box next to "Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connections" box. Please then click save and you will be taken back to the main Skype window.
- You then need to choose "Options" from the "Tools" menu again and this time choose "Advanced" at the bottom of the left menu.
- You must untick or leave unticked the "Start Skype when I start Windows" box and the other boxes you can set as you wish.
Only if all of these requirements are met can Skype be used on the GTC network.