No Internet access on your laptop in hotel? Skype chat windows could be culprit

While staying at a Best Western in Ontario, Calif. recently, blogger Dan York had a Skype-related Internet connectivity issue.

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While staying at a Best Western in Ontario, Calif. recently, blogger Dan York had a Skype-related Internet connectivity issue.

His room was too far from the hotel's Access Point to log on wirelessly. So then he tried his room's Ethernet cable. That didn't seem to do the trick either.

After getting a replacement cable from the front desk, still no go.

Then Dan contacted Best Western tech support and was told, "Whoa! Something on your computer is generating an incredible number of sessions out to the Internet! You are tripping our filters and it is blocking out your MAC address."

He shut down Skype and relaunced it. Indications showed 396 simultaneous sessions. Then, Dan shut down Skype. While doing so pinpointed the likely culprint in Dan not being able to get online via the hotel's Ethernet connection, it sounds like that realization added more dimensions to the problem.

Dan then explains what happened next:

I find it a bit odd that Skype was generating so much extra traffic, but then again I am pretty much always connected into several persistent group chats and had maybe 8 or 10 individual chat windows still open that I'd left open from when I'd last been chatting with the person. (The Mac Skype client makes this easy to do, but I'll write about that sometime.) The persistent group chats, especially, do generate a good number of connections as they link out into the P2P cloud.

Perhaps if I closed all of those windows and killed off all my individual chat windows Skype might have behaved better. (Or perhaps not, I might have had to leave the persistent chats in order for Skype to stop making those connections.) I don't want to try it out, because I do want to keep my Internet connection up right now.

Dan, I know that being on the road and having to choose between getting online and using your Skype is not a compellingly powerful choice. After all, you do want to have Skype ride on your Internet connection, correct?

Oh but sometimes life involves triangulation, and selecting which option is the least unbearable.

"In any event, should you be at a hotel and find yourself unable to connect... it might be a P2P app like Skype tripping off the hotel's filters and blocking your access," Dan writes. "Fun, fun, fun...."

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