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When I have Skype running (not in "Offline" mode) I often see it start eating about 0.5 kb/s of my traffic (so the network quota meter is dropping inevitably and internet stops soon). When I restart Skype or make it go offline-online, it starts forwarding it's things again soon.

How to have Skype available for chat, but not sapping my traffic (at least when "ppp4" is up)? I feel the majority of traffic spent by Skype is unrelated to my own activities (I mostly use text chat).

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Kind of obvious. Stop using Skype (or any form of IM). Switch to a more asynchronous form of communication like emails.

Instant messaging services (or any service that stays online) will continuously send and receive small amounts of data.

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Skype could also be relaying traffic for other users - that's how it works. –  Linker3000 Aug 17 '11 at 22:36
    
I know that it is relaying. I seek how to stop this relaying when I'm on traffic-billed internet connection, but still be able to receive chats. –  Vi. Aug 18 '11 at 4:21
    
@Vi You can't. And 0.5kbps isn't relayed traffic, that would be in the 8kbps-32kbps range at least. –  Let_Me_Be Aug 18 '11 at 7:26
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