So you want to skype logo huh?

So if you are coming to Belize and you plan on Skyping, Belize Telecom Ltd. has other plans for you, and it involves a particular digit on either the right or the left hand. But fear not; I, Trip, will explain the ever so simple way of getting back to making free calls. This will only work for things like Skype, sadly voip is a bit trickier.

The Ogre and the Maiden

The skype blocking ogre that is BTL

There are a few ways to block things on the Internet. Basically what is happening is that your computer tries to get a hold of Skype and BTL says, "oh nope sorry, you can't do that" and prevents the connection from being made. It's kinda like when a guy is at a bar and sees a pretty girl and her friend keeps the young man from "connecting" with said young lady. But it's only that you are the young man, Skype is the young lady and BTL (instead of being a friend) is a horrible ogre, who slammed a large spiked club down between the two of you, preventing all but the slightest glimpse, under a gnarled arm, of the thing you love.

The Ogre is Strong so you must get a Ninja

It now occurs to me that in writing this I may well be incurring the wrath of the ogre, but for the sake of the many I will risk it all.

The lounge in Belize to which you will be whisked by the ninja with the girl While the Ogre is strong, he isn't very smart and can only see the obvious. In steps the ninja. His name (or her name) is VPN - meaning either very powerful ninja or the more standard, Virtual Private Network. What a VPN essentially does is it encrypts your data, sends it to another country that doesn't block Skype and you connect normally from there. Or sticking with the analogy, the very powerful ninja throws a smoke bomb and whisks you and the maiden away, delivering you to a nice lounge with soft music and no ogres...or at least no Skype ogres.

Very Powerful Ninjas for hire

A Ninja is what you need when BTL is blocking you from the one you love. Right now you are probably thinking, "So where does one go about getting a Very Powerful Ninja." The answer is simple. If you are only in the country for a short time go here. This is a link to something called Anchor Free Hot Spot Shield. It's free and effective. Do be careful when you install it though. You will be asked if you want to install a tool bar and an anti-virus, just un-check the box for them when the options appear. Also keep in mind that you need to turn this off when you want to brows the Internet as Google doesn't like not being able to spy on you. If you are going to be here a little longer and want something faster and more reliable just do a search for VPN and you will find a bazillion companies offering them. They range from super cheap to fairly expensive depending on the level of coolness you want. I would say go somewhere in the 25 to 50us a year range.

So that is how you Skype in Belize. I would also like to add that BTL isn't always evil. They just actually doubled everyones speed and I have gotten decent customer service. It's more the I-have-a-monopoly-so-I-can-screw-you thing that bugs me. I hope this little bit of info helps a few of you out there.

~by Trip
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