VoIP (or, Voice over IP) is now extremely popular around the world due to the easy access of computers and the Internet in most countries. When VoIP was first introduced, it was during the days of 28.8 and 36.6K modems. Those days, connections were very slow, and it effected the connection and sound quality.
Today’s VoiP audio is crystal clear. When you connect via Skype, or many of the other VoIP services, the person you are talking to on the other end, would never suspect that you weren’t calling them on your home phone, or cell phone.
Voice over IP is great for businesses, too. International businesses that used to spend thousands of dollars a month are now spending pennies.
Compared to a normal phone service, VoIP is definitely cheaper. You normally don’t have long contracts, and you don’t need a fixed phone line.
So, who are some of the major VoIP providers out there?:
When people think of VoIP, many people first think of Skype. Starting back in 2003, Skype has developed into one of the favorite online VoIP services. Not only do they have a Skype to Skype service, where you can talk with other people who have Skype installed on their computers, but you can also use Skype to regular phones, and cell phones.
Skype also has developed Skype phones. They look like regular phones, but are connected to Skype’s VoIP network. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection. You log in, and then you can make calls.
Skype’s international calls start at a few cents per minute to many countries around the world. You can also purchase Skype Unlimited service, which allows you to call certain countries for around $5 a month. Or, you can use their Unlimited World subscription and make unlimited land line calls to about 40 countries for about $13 a month. This also includes unlimited cell phone calls to: Thailand, U.S.A., Canada, Hong Kong, Guam, China, Puerto Rico, and Singapore.
SkypeIn numbers are also available for many countries. You pay about $15 for three months, and receive a real phone number that you can use for people to call you. When they dial that number and you’re on the computer, or have your Skype phone, Skype will start ringing, and you can answer it on your computer with a pair of headphones. If you are not on the computer, or you are on another call, Skype will automatically forward their call to voice mail.
Internet Calls offers VoIP calls to nearly any nation in the world. It’s even possible to call to land line phones in Most major European countries, and Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Argentina, Canada and the U.S. for free!
In addition, cell phone calls made to the U.S., Canada and Hong Kong are also free!
However, to get free access, you first have to pay 10 Euros, which is good for 120 days of free service. As long as you only call countries that are on their free list, you are allowed 300 minutes of free calls per week. Calls as low as 1 cent per minute are also possible to other world destination.
All you need is a computer connection (preferably a high speed one), and then you can download the software, and you’re ready to go. In addition, if you have a verified phone number, you can place a call through the software and it will ring back your cell phone, or land line, and connect your to your destination. There is a small charge for connection, and you will be charged a small per minute fee, depending on which country you are calling.
On the same site it’s possible to use MobileVOIP to download software to your 3G, Wifi and other networks, too. This allows you to make VoIP calls, and this won’t add any charges to your cell phone.
Internet Calls also has VoIP-In numbers that you can use to have your friends and family contact you. They work the same as SkypIn numbers.
Both Skype and Internet Calls allow you to send very cheap SMS messages to just about anywhere in the world.
Other VoIP Providers
There are many other Voice over IP companies out there. The majority of them use VoIP phones which have Wi-Fi capabilities. Some of these use adapters that connect with your DSL, or Cable modem, and others have Wi-Fi capabilities.