Wow, 256-bit encyption? I keep finding more reasons to like Skype

As I've posted numerous times since the beginning of the year, I've been experimenting with Skype and have found a lot of reasons to like it. I've even started using it for some calls with colleagues — both regular VoIP calls and video calls. However, that quickly led me (and my colleagues on the other end) to wonder how secure our Skype calls were, especially when we were talking about sensitive business information and plans. That prompted me to look into what kind of security options were available with Skype. I figured I might have to download an add-on.

I was very surprised (and pleased) to discover that Skype uses 256-bit end-to-end encryption for its connections, which means all Skype-to-Skype calls, IMs, and video calls are locked down against snoopers. This was a relief to me from a business standpoint. Of course, it also means that terrorists and other nefarious characters could be using Skype to avoid having their calls tapped by government agencies — as a matter of fact, I found a very interesting USA Today article on the issue of Skype spurning eavesdroppers (including the United States NSA).

By Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner is Editorial Director of CNET and former Editor in Chief of TechRepublic. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.