Making Free Calls From Your Computer - What You Need To Know

by Albertsmith - Date: 2010-01-11 - Word Count: 532 Share This!

If you're like most consumers, you've probably heard some hype about making free calls from your computer and would like to take advantage of the savings. However, you may also be somewhat unsure of how to go about it. Here's what you need to know.

The Equipment You'll Need
Making a free phone call from your computer is just as quick and easy as dialing from your landline or mobile phone, but you'll need to have the following items before you get started. Obviously, you need a computer that is connected to the Internet. Your computer will also need to have a built-in microphone and speakers, or you'll need to purchase a USB phone or a headset that you can attach to your computer.

Choose a Provider
There is a growing number of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service providers that offer free internet calls. Some of the most widely known are Skype, Vonage, and Google Talk. Others such as MediaRing Talk are increasing their market share because of their highly competitive service offerings.

To determine which provider to use, it's important to evaluate how you want to use the service. Do you want to only make domestic and international calls to others who are also using the service? For this, Skype is a good choice. If you want to call friends and family who only have access to a landline or mobile phone, MediaRing Talk is a less expensive option. Unlike Skype which charges for all calls that aren't PC to PC, Media Ring Talk offers free PC to PC calls anywhere in the world along with free PC to Phone and free PC to mobile calls to the United States, Canada, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong. They also offer free PC-to-landline calls to the UK, Australia, and Taiwan. Their rates for other destinations are competitive with Skype and far superior to those offered by traditional phone companies.

If you still want to make calls from your home phone, Vonage is another option worth exploring. Their service works very similar to a typical landline by connecting your phone to the Internet with a phone adapter. However, their service is not free. You'll have to purchase a monthly plan that features voicemail, call forwarding, caller ID, and call waiting.

Learn About Other Features
One of the distinct benefits of VoIP is that it offers more than just free and inexpensive long distance phone service. Some providers also bundle highly useful services that their customers can take advantage of for free such as instant messaging with presence and multi-user voice conferencing. It's worth researching providers to determine which one offers the best features for your specific needs.

Get Started
Once you've found a VoIP provider that you'd like to try, you'll need to download the software to get started. Don't forget to read the terms and conditions to make sure that you aren't surprised by any unexpected charges. Most VoIP providers are upfront about what they charge. However, others are not quite as transparent. Thus, it's always a good idea to choose a provider that has a reputation for quality and good customer service so that you can effectively reap the benefits and cost savings that VoIP technology provides.

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