All about VOIP calling: Comparison and information
Information about VoIP products and companies
Voip means Voice Over Internet Protocol, and is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet or any other IP-based network. Easier said; you can use your Internet connection to make a phone call. On this website you can find all information about the things you need to get started and which programs you can use to save money on domestic and international calls.
You can compare the worldwide VoIP rates of the most populair VoIP programs here.
The most popular program for VoIP in Europe is Skype. This software program is for free and enables people to make phone calls between computers that installed this program. It is also possible to make phone calls from a computer to a normal phone for a low rate. Therefore you have to buy credits for SkypeOut . You can also buy a SkypeIn number with Voicemail for EUR 10 per 3 months or EUR 30 per 12 months, it's possible to get a SkypeIn number in; Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. Skype also offers some nice features, skypecasts is the newest invention. These are hosted calls on Skype that up to 100 people can join to discuss on specific topics.
Yahoo Voice is a service offered by Yahoo that is integrated in the instant messaging system of Yahoo. Yahoo Voice can also be used to call to normal landlines and mobile phones.
Google talk is a VoIP program that can only be used to call from pc to pc.
Betamax GmbH & Co KG A lot of popular programs are owned by Betamax GmbH & Co KG from Germany. They have a lot of different software programs, the only difference between these programs seems to be the rates; the application is similar.
Programs owned by this company are;voipbuster.com, internetcalls.com, netappel.com, poivy.com, sparvoip.de, voipbuster.com, voipcheap.com, voipcheap.co.uk, voipdiscount.com, voipstunt.com, webcalldirect.com, freecall.com and Sipdiscount.
These programs make it possible to call for free between computers but you can also call to normal landlines for a fixed rate of 10 euro's per 4 months. For more information about the Betamax company visit our Betamax information page.
Webcalldirect is a service that can be used to establish a connection between normal landlines without installing any software program on your PC. You can fill in two numbers on their website; one number of the phone you are calling with and one of the person you want to speak to. You can try it for free for 3 minutes. If you want to use it for more than 3 minute calls you have to register. The conditions are the same as the other Betamax programs. Except that credit is already expiring after 90 days. With Webcalldirect you make TWO phonecalls at the same time. One to yourself and one to the other person, notice that you also have to pay for two calls if they are not made to free destinations.
Sipdiscount is a program offered by Betamax that can only be used in combination with a sip-device. For the correct configuration of your modem you can have a look at their website.
Voipcheap.co.uk is also a Betamax product. This one differs from voipcheap.com. The rates are different as shown in the table below, but also the costs are charged in English pence and not in euros.
Service of Neuf Telecom from France that can be used to make video-calls, pc-to-pc calls and calls from a pc to regular landlines and mobile numbers. The rates of calling with Wengo to regular landlines are now included in our list. Wengo has a special promotion action where you can get free calls until the 4th of September 2006 to the following destinations; Alaska, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Eire, France, Germany, Greece, Hawaï, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Moscow, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and the USA. To be able to call this destinations you have to buy EUR 10 of credits. BUT; these countries are devided into three groups. The first group of countries can only be called for a maximum of 2 minutes, the second group of destinations has a maximum of 5 minutes and the third has a maximum of 10 minutes per call. (source)
Formerly know as MSN messenger of the Microsoft corporation can now also be used to make calls to regular phones. You have to sign in for Verizon Web Calling if you want to use this feature. If you want to sign in for this feature you first have to download the new live messenger and choose the pc-to-phone option after starting the application.
Jajah is a VoIP provider, founded by Austrians Roman Scharf and Daniel Mattes in 2005. The Jajah headquarters are located in Mountain View, CA and Luxembourg. Jajah, also referred to as web-activated telephony (comparable with Webcalldirect), is a simple approach to use VoIP with traditional phones and without the necessity to download and install software. Jajah Web initiates traditional phone-to-phone calls over the Internet. This allows the company to offer their services at comparatively low rates.
Gizmo Project was founded by Michael Robertson. Unlike its competitor network Skype, the Gizmo Project network uses open standards for call management, the Session Initiation Protocol and Jabber. But it uses several proprietary codecs, and the Gizmo Project client is closed source like Skype. The Gizmo Project is run by the company SIPphone.
Since the Gizmo Project is based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), it can interoperate with other SIP-based networks directly
What do you need to use VoIP?
You need five things before you can start using VoIP. Remember that the quality of the phonecall will depend on the quality of the software (like Skype) and the hardware (pc, internet connection) you are using.
A computer, minimum requirements; 300 MHz processor, 128MB RAM and a soundcard
An Internet connection, preferably a broadband connection
A headphone or speakers
Another possibility is to buy a headset where a microphone is integrated into the headset.
A VoIP software program
Calling with Voipbuster by using a normal phone
There are solutions to call with the Betamax programs by using your normal telephone equipment. For an explanation about the configuration of your equipment we recommend you to visit this website; www.voipuser.nl