Skype Connect or Skype for Asterisk?

Hi there

I’ve been using Skype Connect (Skye for SIP) with my Asterisk server for about 6 months now and have been very happy with it (other than the monthly fee I have to pay… 8) ).

Does anybody have any views on Skype Connect versus Skype for Asterisk? Are they pretty much the same in function and once installed perform equally well?

My understanding is the Skype for Asterisk is Digium’s offering and effectively competing with Skype Connect (?) - does that effectively mean that Skype could “disconnect” Skype for Asterisk at any stage or does it operate without their input?

I welcome any thoughts, opinions and advice that may be out there.

Cheers

Chris

Hi Chris,

Let’s address the foundation of Skype for Asterisk, then the particular features and comparison to Skype Connect (formerly known as Skype for SIP).

Skype for Asterisk (SFA) is a joint development effort between Skype and Digium. SFA carries Skype’s explicit endorsement and license. SFA incorporates licensed client library software from Skype and exposes much of the library’s capability to the Asterisk administrator. Ultimately Skype controls their network and which clients may connect to it, so from a technical perspective it is possible to “disconnect” SFA or any other client software, but as long as Digium customers abide by the End User License Agreement and Skype’s Terms of Service this should never happen.

As for feature comparison, Skype for Asterisk provides a much deeper integration to Asterisk than Skype Connect, the SIP trunking-only service. If you only plan to use Skype as a SkypeOut SIP trunk, then Skype Connect may seem to be a competitive offering vs. SFA. I’ll paraphrase a Digium blog post that compared the two:

[ul]
[li]Skype for Asterisk can handle incoming Skype calls directly from any user on the Skype network. Skype Connect can receive incoming calls from Skype names that are statically mapped to a SIP account.[/li]
[li]Skype for Asterisk can place calls to any user on the Skype network. Skype Connect cannot place calls to Skype users.[/li]
[li]Skype for Asterisk includes support for Skype presence information. Skype Connect has no support for presence.[/li]
[li]Skype for Asterisk includes buddy list management. Skype Connect has no buddy list management features.[/li]
[li]Skype for Asterisk can send/receive text chat message. Skype Connect cannot send/receive text chat messages.[/li]
[li]Skype for Asterisk calls are encrypted from end-to-end while SFS calls are delivered to the Skype Connect endpoint devices (PBX) as unencrypted RTP streams.[/li]
[li]Skype for Asterisk supports multiple media codecs including G.711 aLaw and uLaw as well as G.729. Wide-band audio will be available in a near-term revision. Skype Connect supports only compressed telephony-grade G.729 media streams.[/li]
[li]Skype for Asterisk includes a G.729 channel license for Asterisk. Using Skype Connect with Asterisk will require a separate G.729 channel license.[/li][/ul]
Ultimately, the key differentiator is that Skype for Asterisk is designed to allow developers to build rich applications that are deeply integrated with the Skype network, while the Skype Connect offering is a trunking solution for legacy IP-PBX systems that support SIP. Both have their place and neither is specifically competitive with the other. Both Digium and Skype are dedicated to Skype For Asterisk.

Thanks for your business!

Many thanks rmontgomery

Your post is really helpful and it looks like Skype for Asterisk is the clear winner.

Time for change I think.

Thanks again

Chris

So is this free to eh, connect to Asterisk?