When your family and friends are scattered across the globe, your phone bill can quickly become the stuff of nightmares.
Unless, that is, you make your international calls over the interwebs.
According to Intel, more and more peeps all over the world are saving their pretty pennies thanks to high-speed internet connections. Call quality is comparable to a landline or mobile phone, and it’s usually cheaper (or even free!)
Don’t miss a call. Like, ever.
Calls over the internet are ever so fancy nowadays. Most boast voicemail, call forwarding and video conferencing – so you never have to miss a call again.
Its official name is Voice over Internet Protocol – that’s VoIP to you and me. All you need to get the party started is a computer and a decent internet connection. Then, before you dial…
- Download VoIP software and connect a compatible headset to your computer, or
- Use a special adapter or handset that connects directly to your broadband service
Finding a VoIP provider
There are loads of different VoIP options out there, but you need to make sure you select a service that’s compatible with your computer.
Skype’s a popular choice. The software’s free, as are voice calls to other Skype users; while you can call other landline and mobile numbers for a fee.
It’s worthwhile also checking out:
Downloading the software
Say, for example, you opt for Skype as your VoIP solution. When you visit the company’s site and click the icon to download free VoIP software, it will prompt you to save the program files on your computer. Make sure your system has enough disk space and memory to use the software and that your internet connection is fast enough (transmitting at least 256 KB of data per second).
Do as you’re told and follow the instructions to register your details with Skype over the internet. In no time at all you’ll receive an email confirmation outlining your chosen (free!) subscription level and your VoIP telephone number or name, which others can use to call you.
Equip yourself for marathon chats on the cheap
The next step is to get a handset or headset that you can plug directly into your computer to access your new Skype VoIP service. Again, compatibility is an issue, so make sure you do your homework online to ensure that the handsets, headsets, microphones, and webcams you fancy will work with your computer.
Alternatively, your newer computers are just as likely to have webcams already installed. Similarly, newer computers typically sport smoother continuous audio and video without lag.
Once you’ve plugged in your headset or launched your webcam you’re good to dial. Simply call another Skype user, or enter a number into the user screen. The software will look up the number via the internet and route the call straight through. Your online phone book works the same way as your email address book, alerting you when friends and family are online.
Now you’ve got one less reason not to call now, call often, and talk as long as you fancy.
Need help finding a computer with an integrated webcam and microphone? Upgrade your computer today to one with Intel Inside and start making phone calls for free.