Saturday, February 17, 2007

How Skype gets through firewalls, and I wish iChat did the same

Can't remember where I first stumbled upon this article, but it is a very interesting read on how Skype punches holes in firewalls and makes video/audio chat work for the user anyway it can.

At work, I have to use Skype on OS X if I want to get a video chat going with someone outside the network, it's the only thing that just works. iChat only uses SIP, and it is a shame it does because I would love to have it's H.264 encoded video all the time instead of Skype's barely YouTube quality. The network admins are not allowing the SIP ports out.

I actually filed a bug with Apple (which requires a freee Apple Developer Connection account) to ask for a feature request to work like Skype when punching holes in firewalls.

I'm Batman! It may not matter all that much if iChat gets the functionality though, because since Adium hit 1.0 I have swithed over to it exclusively for all instant messaging. One app and I put the multitude of IM accounts in and it works great. I must confess too, the fact that I can change over the icon to be a duck dressed up like Batman, that flaps the cap when I get an IM, priceless.