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Q: Phone calls over the internet ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: Phone calls over the internet
Category: Computers
Asked by: philippe123-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 14 Dec 2005 08:49 PST
Expires: 13 Jan 2006 08:49 PST
Question ID: 605750
phone calls over the internet: I live in Washington DC and currently
spend about $100 per month on international long distance phone calls
to Asia (Sri Lanka in particular) and Canada.  I understand there are
ways to make calls over the internet for free or at a much lower cost.
 What are the options available and how do they compare in terms of
cost, equipment to buy or install (I already have high speed cable
connectivity), and ease of installation and on-going use? My main
criteria is ease of use as we don't like complex applications.
Subject: Re: Phone calls over the internet
Answered By: webadept-ga on 14 Dec 2005 09:13 PST

So far, nothing has been easier for me to use with International IP
calling than GTalk..
You need a sound card and a head set. Something like the Logitech
Premium USB Headset 350 would do fine for the Headset Microphone combo

After than it works by clicking on the name and clicking on the Call button. 

Another option is Skype (same hardware requirements). Skype has
several options to it, and it does allow you to call regular phones,
and have regular phones call you (there are fees to these services).
Very good service, and I use that myself for local answering machines
with different state numbers (California, Washington, new york).
Skype is a little more Resource Intensive on the computer than GTalk
(which is very light), but still a very good product.

For any Internet Phone service, to get free connection from point to
point, both users are going to need the same software installed. (ie
Skype to Skype, GTalk to GTalk).

The voice over IP use to sound horrible, but this isn't the case any
longer. I use GTalk extensively with friends in Spain and Germany from
the US, and the sound is as clear as a normal phone.


Subject: Re: Phone calls over the internet
From: eastmere-ga on 14 Dec 2005 16:12 PST     is a good service. I believe it is
comparable to Skype, but I haven't used Skype. The voice quality is
supposed to be better with gizmo project. I have been using gizmo
project, and I really like it. The voice quality is good, and all I
use for hardware is a pair of regular headphones, and my computer
speakers. Gizmo to gizmo calls are free, otherwise most minute  rates
are 1.8 cents a minute. Worldwide calls don't even get up to five
cents a minute.
Subject: Re: Phone calls over the internet
From: travisx2-ga on 15 Dec 2005 11:35 PST
Hi, I use Skype to talk with a friend in Germany and like it very
much. If she is at her PC, our call is free, If I call her home phone
it is about .02/minute. Not too bad. However, Skype does require you
to use your PC for calling/dialing.
For you, I would suggest checking out a company called Vonage,, for 2 reasons:

1. Ease of use:Unlike the the formentioned options, which require you
to use your PC to dial and talk, you can purchase a normal wireless
phone that works with vonage that you use just like a normal land line
phone. Vonage also uses a seperate network appliance, which you hook
up to your network, your PC does not even need to be on.

2. Cost. Vonage offers a plan (about $24/month) that offers unlimited
calls to Canada, calls to ShriLanka appear to be about .18/minute.
(skype seems to be about .12(euro cents)/minute.

You could use a combination of services and really save money. 
If you have business partners that you call on a regular basis, that
have access to highspeed internet, you could arrange with them for
both of you to have Skype or Gizmo, and those calls would be free.
Then use the Vonage system(which could replace your current land line,
another savings) for the calls to Canada and to people who do not have
PC's or Internet.
Hope that helps.
Subject: Re: Phone calls over the internet
From: tech_ceo-ga on 27 Dec 2005 17:26 PST
I had similar problem and make calls from USA to UK all the time. I
now use Skype on my PC combined with a Linksys USB cordless phone
(model CIT 200). Normally (without the cordless phone), after setting
up a Skype account you call a phone number in other country by typing
+44 2932 xxxxxx on the keyboard and then using a microphone to talk to
other person and your computer speakers to listen to the other person.
If like me, you want to talk away from your PC the Linksys "Skype"
cordless USB phone allows you to make the call using the cordless
phone just like a normal telephone. Costs are 0.029 per min if you
call a normal phone no. to most places around the world or FREE if you
call someone else who has a Skype phone. Quality is very good. The
advantage of Skype vs Vonage is Skype is portable. If you travel you
can take your Skype cordless phone with you attached to your laptop
and a single number will allow others to reach you or you to reach
others.  FYI I do not work for Skype, Linksys or Google.
Subject: Re: Phone calls over the internet
From: redadam-ga on 17 Feb 2006 11:05 PST
Vonage is also portable, you don't even need a computer; just an
ethernet connection to the internet.

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