Troubleshooting Skype performance on a Mac (updated)

Troubleshooting Skype performance on a Mac

I’ve been using the venerable VOIP client on my MacBook Pro almost since it came out without many issues – until recently. I’ve used Skype almost weekly to record 70 episodes of the PowerPage Podcast with good results but in the past few months I haven’t been able to make it work with my Verizon DSL connection at home.

My Skype connection usually works fine for the first three to five minutes then voice quality drops off dramatically. The people on the other end of the call complain that I get staticy, echoy, and borg-sounding. Ironically, I can hear them just fine (and a couple of them are on ADSL connections).

If you’re a Skype ninja that’s had good luck with conference calls over on your Mac I’d love to hear about your best practices. I really enjoy recording podcasts but I just don’t have the (personal) bandwidth to fight with Skype much more.

Update: Some suggested Skype performance tweaks after the jump.

According to Skype direct connections are preferable. But doesn’t this only applies to two-person calls? What about conference calls? Direct connections are accomplished by:

  1. Running Skype on a specific port.
  2. If you are behind a standard (NAT) firewall, configure it to forward traffic on this port directly to your machine.
  • Go into Skype Preferences > Advanced > Incoming Connection Port
  • Type in a specific port number. Choose a “high port” (any number between 1024 and 65536.)
  • Un-select the option to connect on ports 80 & 443

Configuring your router

  • Log on to your router
  • Locate the Port Mapping or Port Forwarding configuration page
  • Add a rule to forward traffic on the port you selected above to you IP Address
    • Apply


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