Skype is storing your file transfers in their cloud now – where and how long?

Skype logo

With the recent changes of Skype moving to a cloud based architecture some of you may be seeing a link when sending file transfers. These transfers used to be peer to peer. Skype has not issued any statement or documentation where or how long these file transfers are stored.

Skype File Transfer URL link

As part of Skype’s move to a cloud-based architecture, pictures sent via chat are now uploaded to the cloud. All of our Skype clients are currently moving to this new cloud-based architecture, and once we complete the rollout, your pictures will show (as normal) inside the conversation. For the moment, to view the picture that your contact sent, all you have to do is click the link and log in.

As Skype declares above, they are storing your files in their cloud and then presenting them to you inline or as a link. I am curious about the architecture behind this and the availability of the images long term. Can the images be found using simple URL replacement? Are they protected with some form of attribute so only those that were in the chat get get access? Or can anyone with the link that can authenticate into Skype get the file or image?

This shift prompted us to move from a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) architecture for calls and messaging to a cloud-based system. It’s the biggest architecture change in the history of Skype, and we’re constantly making improvements so that, no matter where you are or what device you’re using, everything “just works.”

Skype states as the world moves forward they need the cloud to continue instead of peer to peer. While that makes sense for some of the data I cannot see it for the file names and transfers without an option on the user side.  One of the benefits was no server in the middle when sending those files. With the new architecture you will both not have to be online at the same time to send the file, but I imagine this will also affect the maximum transfer size as well. I do not see Skype wanting to store large files.

So questions Skype needs to answer are:

  • Who has long term access?
  • How long are they storing our files?
  • Will there be a new maximum transfer size?
  • If I pass out the link can anyone get to the file that can log in?

What other concerns or questions would you have with the new changes Skype is implementing?

  • Jane Muskoviz

    I have found just the tool to transfer large files over the internet. It is called Binfer. One of my fav tools to transfer large files is Binfer. It is able to transfer large files of any size.

  • Locutus of Borg

    All your data are belong to Microsoft. You will be assimilated.

  • http://fak3r.com fak3r

    Additional questions:

    * Are the files encrypted (if so, when – on the client side or the server side)?
    * Who has access to these files (skype admins, a user’s connections, the public)?
    * Are the files scanned; for de-duplication, for DMCA compliance, for inappropriate content?

  • Paul B

    This is really annoying, and a fundamental change in privacy from sending a file directly from me to a trusted party alone. What if I don’t want my content to be stored on Microsoft’s servers? What if my data was confidential? What if their cloud security was breached?

    At the moment this seems to only affect images – if you send an image but put it inside a zip file, the old peer to peer behaviour happens, at least for now.

    Presumably this is Microsoft wanting us to build a dependency on their cloud storage so we get encouraged to spend money down the line.

    Bad Microsoft!

  • djweller

    This must be to allow NSA to have easier access to your image files.