Internet Telephony - Home & Business Solutions
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• An Introduction to Internet Telephony (Article) plus a list of free voip services
Internet Telephony Equipment
Companies offering Voip Services:
Headers: PC to PC, PC to Phone
Want to talk to your friends and family, wherever they are in the world, for free? Well, if all parties have a computer with broadband and Skype installed on it (the program is itself free), you can. Skype currently has 50 million registered users and is growing fast. You can also conference up to 5 parties, send instant messages and share files. Skype also offers low cost phone calls to and from landlines. Voicemail (subscription service) will record a message for you if can’t take the call, and allows you to send voice messages between users. Skypecast allows up to 100 participants in a conversation. Join in other Skypecasts or start your own. Very useful for lecutures, hobby groups, work meetings etc. You can edit your Skype profile and add a photo, of course, but you can also add a Skype Me button on your website, if you have one. You just need to add a small amout of code (Skype will give you this) and when you set your status to "Skype Me" in Skype itself, the button will also show on your website! Neat!
Available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Pocket PC.
Headers: Online Audio/Video Conferencing
Hearme is the business offering from the same company that owns the successful messenger software Paltalk. You can see a live demo on the website.
Here are some of the main features of Hearme:
• Show your powerpoint or other files to meeting participants
• Free trial for first time users
• Video and voice all included,
Application/Document/Desktop Sharing, Unlimited Usage
• Meeting rooms support 2 to 1,000 simultaneous participants
• No downloads - the service is 100% web based.
• Special Offers: 14 day free trial
Headers: PC to PC, Computer to Landlines/Mobiles
Yahoo has joined up with BT Communicator to provide a messenger PC to PC messenger service (using Yahoo! Messenger) and PC to landline/mobile service (using BT Communicator).
Make free, worldwide PC-to-PC calls with other Yahoo! Messenger users. Other features include free voicemail, call history, webcam, photosharing and conference calls. You can also search for a number free from the 118 500 BT Directory Enquiries tab in Yahoo! Messenger and pick up your BT Answer 1571 remotely over the internet.
To make phonecalls to landlines and mobiles you use BT communicator which is launched from Yahoo Messenger by clicking on the telephone icon. The charges will appear on your BT phone bill and are the same as the charges from your BT landline. After you have installed messenger and got a yahoo id, you can get started with BT Communicator by clicking on the "Messenger" menu top left. Click "Register for BT Communicator". This launches the registration webpage.
Headers: Internet Telephony
If you have a broadband connection, then for a monthly charge you can make unlimited UK and international calls. Prices start at £5.99 a month, with no contract and free phone support. You get a free Vonage box which routes your calls over the internet through the Vonage network. You just plug your phone into the Vonage box and the box into your broadband connection. You can also buy the Vonage V-phone - a small portable phone that plugs into the USB port on any PC. It is pre-loaded with Vonage Talk software and so long as there’s a broadband connection you can use your Vonage account.
• Special Features: 30 day money back guarantee
Headers: PC to PC, PC to Landlines/Mobiles, Send Text Messages
Tiscali's Netphone allows broadband users to make free PC to PC calls with other Netphone users. You do not have to have Tiscali as your ISP to use this service (click on "Sign up now for free website membership"). You can also request a personal Netphone number (this is an 0871 number) which can be called by anyone with a landline or a mobile. You pay nothing for incoming calls but the caller pays the standard rate for 0871 numbers (currently 10p per minute on BT). This number can also be used as an answering machine and a fax - faxes and voicemails are sent to your email address. Calls to phones are fairly cheap - full tarif details on the website.
Headers: Instant Messaging, Instant Video Chat
Instant Video chat community. Paltalk’s 4 million plus users can see, hear, and talk to one another instantly – anywhere in the world. There are over 4000 different chat rooms or you can set up a private chat room, so whether you are looking friendship, love, or just want conversation there is almost certainly a video chat room for you.
Paltalk supports Yahoo, AIM, and ICQ instant messaging
Enhanced live video streaming
Free voice and video chat with up to 10 people
Multiplayer games and music downloads.
Paltalk is free but you can upgrade to paid subscription for banner free windows plus greater video functionality for business conferencing etc.
• Special Offers: 1 week free trial period for Paltalk x-Treme.
Headers: PC-to-Phone/Fax calling, Free PC to PC Calls, Phone/Fax to PC
Low cost PC to phone calls worldwide. You can also use PC-telephone to make free PC to PC calls and use your PC to receive phone calls and faxes. You can choose the IDSN connection option (tends to get better quality phone connection) but you can still use pc-telephone if you have another type of internet connection.
Headers: Residential Broadband Phone Service, PC to Phone/Fax
With Voiceline you can use your phone via your broadband connection (DSL, cable, T1, or satellite) to make phone calls. This means calls are generally cheaper that via a normal phone line, especially if you are calling abroad. The downside is that you have to buy hardware to connect your phone to your pc.
The PC to phone/fax service (Net2Phone CommCenter) is a little more straight forward in that you just download the software to get started. Free PC to PC calling is available with the CommCenter providing the person you call also has CommCenter.
Headers: PC to Phone, Phone to PC, PC to PC
VoipCheap really is just that - cheap. Many locations, including UK phone numbers, are free. All you have to do is deposit a minimum of £10 to get going. (You get a minute free without the deposit). PC to PC is free with other VoipCheap users. VoipCheap will also assign you a phone number so that people can call direct to your PC.
Headers: Phone to PC, PC to Phone, PC to PC
VoipBuster will give you your own phone number so that you can receive calls from regular phones onto your PC. In addition phone calls to many countries (not including the UK) around the world are also free - see rates for details. PC to PC calls are free with other VoipBuster users.
Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger)
Messenger allows you to send instant messages to people who also have Messenger installed plus you can now use it for video and audio chat. Easy to use - just right click on the contact you want to talk to. You can also access your Hotmail account from the Messenger interface plus create your own Windows Live Space which you can use to set up your own blog/photo album etc. Messenger also incorporates a dialer so that you can make cheap internet phone calls from your computer.
Headers: Blank Media, Cables, Components, Computers, Home & Office, In Car, Outdoor Leisure, Sound & vision, Tools & Service, Toys & Kits
Audio, video, electronic and computer products, components and accessories, all available online. Especially good for components and more obscure electronic bits and bobs. Plenty of gadgets and gizmos also. You can order the famous Maplin catalogue online, either in paper form or on cd. Maplin currently has 75 retail stores throughout the UK and Ireland.
• Free Delivery on orders >£35
Headers:Batteries & Chargers, Digital Memory, Gaming Memory, Card Readers, Mobile & VOIP Phones, Portable Audio, Recordable Media, Ink Cartridges, Cameras & Film
Picstop offers digital, instant and disposable cameras, contract phones, plus more digital memory than you can shake a memory stick at. In addition you can get card readers, batteries and recordable media. Note that they sell only compatible ink cartridges for HP, Lexmark & Epson printers, but the prices on these are competitive. Picstop is based in the Isle of Man.
• Free Delivery on ink cartridges
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