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VOIP, or in other words, making cheap and often free calls over the internet.
Sounds complicated but it's not. If you have broadband, you can
use software to dial over the internet rather than using
your telephone. Call charges are CHEAP and in many cases there's
no charge at all. You can call other VoIP users computer to computer
(this is free), land lines and mobile numbers and save a small fortune
on international calls.
It's best to have a headset with a microphone which plugs into
your computer, so that your conversation isn't broadcast to everyone
in the room. Many 'VOIP Headsets' can be expensive but all you need
is a standard set of headphones with a mic (cost: approximately
It's also possible to buy VoIP phones that connect to your router,
modem or computer and which function just like an ordinary phone.
Phones that plug directly into your router work even when your computer
is switched off.
VOIP providers, such as Skype, produce free software which uses
Voice over Internet Protocol. So, you need to install this software
on your computer.
Directory of Voip Services
GetDialing.com is a directory and review site for cheap and free phone services including voip. You can search by country or by the type of service you want to use. Some voip services let you make free international calls to certain countries as long as you first buy credit. You can use that credit to call countries at very cheap rates, and at the same time take advantage of the free calls to a selection of other destinations: getdialing.com
Vonage's services include free and/or very low cost international calls. They have a portable solution which means you can use your Vonage deal worldwide as long as you have a broadband internet connection. With Vonage you can make and receive calls and keep your existing phone number.
Even if you live outside the UK you can have a UK number and call plan, an overseas number or both.
"Take Vonage Abroad" is aimed at expats or people who travel regularly, and with the Vonage Box you can take your call plan with you and use Vonage in any country where you have access to a broadband router – at no extra cost.
Vonage plans include local numbers so that friends and family can call you cheaply; overseas numbers including a US number; business plans; voicemail; portable landline number;... It's a very flexible service for home and business use.
The most popular is Skype, you can call computer to computer for free, call internationally at cheap rates and buy a personal number that follows you anywhere.
Skype also offer unlimited packages, eg. Unlimited Europe which is €4.54 per month and lets you dial landlines in 21 European countries for free:
3 months for the price of 2 on all 3 or 12 month calling subscriptions from Skype until 1st June 2009.
I think Skype is probably the best one to use. It's compatible
with both Mac and PC systems and is very stable, and so many people
use Skype you're bound to know someone who's already registered.
Other Voip Providers
There are a few other providers that are worth mentioning however. VoipBuster and VoipCheap offer free calls to landline numbers within certain countries. However, it's not exactly free! You have to buy credit and your
credit expires after a certain time. You can only dial free to
landlines if you have credit.
www.voipbuster.com www.voipcheap.co.uk www.voipdiscount.com