Inexpensive VOIP calling, ways to make a Voice Over Internet Protocol call, and the cheapest international calling and direct calling rates can be found within the advice on these pages.
 
  More study abroad/work abroad advice is available here    Top 5 ways to make Inexpensive calls within the US

  Advice for inexpensive travel is here and also on the page you are about to read.

  Free basic instructions for how to make international calls

Jonathan's VOIP
(Voice Over Internet Protocol)

A simple How-to with links to VOIP providers.

Topics covered on this page include

1. What is VOIP?
2. How does VOIP work?
3. Who are the cheapest VOIP providers?

4. Find a good computer headset
wireless, USB, and/or cheap

A girl recently sent me an email asking me "how do I make a cheap call to my boyfriend who is in France?"  Another person emailed me and said, "Do you know how I can make a phone call using my computer?" 

I have done a lot of travel, and so I have a lot of friends internationally.  If I didn't know about this cheap calling advice, I would be paying so much money for phone calls.  The rates offered by the VoIP service providers mentioned on this page allow me to call friends on their birthdays (in the US and outside the US), make overseas travel arrangements, and call without worrying about how I'm going to afford my car and rent payments.  The links provided here are best used when you have a computer with a high speed Internet connection (at least 56kbps), a microphone, and headphones.

What if I don't have a high speed Internet connection, a microphone, and/or headphones?
Then check out the cheap calling advice in the white sections on this page, or visit
Inexpensive calls within the US page, and/or International calling advice.  You will save money!

1.  What is VOIP?

Voice Over IP is a new way of making phone calls which lets you make telephone calls using the Internet at greatly reduced call rates.  Anyone who has been paying attention in recent years can see that there has been a real revolution within the communication world: many people have begun to use PCs and the Internet during work and outside of work to communicate: exchanging data (like images, sounds, documents), and sometimes, to talk to each other using applications like Netmeeting or Internet Phone.  This led to the development of the idea that this could be the future allowing real-time vocal communication using computers and the Internet.  Enter VoIP (Voice over internet protocol).

VoIP allows its users to make calls using their computers.  This means that communication can take place from a sender's computer to a receiver's phone, or to a receiver's computer.

So what does that mean for me?

It means that if you want to make cheaper phone calls, you can sign up for VOIP and spend less money on long distance calls.  Your calling rate can be much, much cheaper.


When it comes to VOIP, you might want to check out this VOIP phone page
http://promotionsanddiscounts.com/voip-phones

It offers a great explanation and awesome solution for VOIP phones.

 

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2. How does VOIP work?

Many years ago, it was discovered that sending a signal to a remote destination could also be done in a digital fashion.  Before sending any message, it becomes digitalized using an ADC (analog to digital converter), is transmitted, and at the end transfer, again convert it, this time back to analog format, using a DAC (digital to analog converter).  VoIP works like that.  It digitalizes the voice in data packets, sends them and then reconverts them into the voice at the destination.  The digital format, (unlike the analog format, which your regular phone probably uses) can be better controlled.  It can be compressed, routed, converted into a new format, and so on.  It also has been discovered that the digital signal is more noise tolerant than the analog one.

Voice (source)  - - ADC - - - - Internet - - - DAC  - - Voice (destination)

Bandwidth requirements:  When signing up for VOIP, be sure to check out the bandwidth requirements, as some providers won't allow you to connect if you have less than a 56kbps modem.  It wouldn't make sense for you to sign up because you would be fighting against the speed of your bandwidth, which would result in choppy and dropped calls.  This can be very frustrating if it happens to you, especially on International calls with friends and family who are somewhere else in the world..
 


 

3. What are the cheapest VOIP providers?
You can find VoIP providers all over the web.  Those listed below are those that I know of which offer the cheapest and most reliable service: Cheap meaning inexpensive call rates, but high quality.

www.iConnectHere.com 
iConnectHere.com offers visitors a great solution with their PC-to-Phone service.  I use PC-to-Phone to call friends in Europe from my computer and have never paid more than 7 cents/minute.  I've listed some example rates to the right... The number for Italy is pretty much standard as far as cost for their VoIP calls to continental Europe phones.  (Cell phones can be a bit more, but still cheap.).  I am currently signed up for their call Europe plan, and calling from my computer to anywhere in Europe is only 4 cents/minute!

 

www.iConnectHere.com 

Sample VOIP Rates

US
  1.2 *
Canada
  1.2 *
Italy        
  5.9  
NET2Phone.com
NET2Phone.com lets you "Call Any Telephone, Anywhere In The World"  Their user interface is very easy to use.  You just enter a number and click "DIAL."  You can call any regular telephone, anywhere in the world, from your PC. Net2Phone has some of the best calling rates available.
NET2Phone.com
Sample VOIP Rates
Us US$ 0.02
United Kingdom US$ 0.049
Buenos Aires US$ 0.08
Sydney US$ 0.039
Canada US$ 0.039
China US$ 0.10
France US$ 0.049
Hong Kong US$ 0.05
India US$ 0.47



 


Check out some travel deals at Orbitz!  They often have great rates on airfare that you can't find elsewhere


 
Callserve.com has some great rates and great service for making phone calls from your PC.


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For more information about VOIP (Voice Over Internet Portocol), read this howto.

Read about Sending SMS' (text messaging between cell phones) nationally and internationally Top 5 ways to make Inexpensive calls within the US

Advice for inexpensive travel is here and also on the page you are about to read.

Free basic instructions for how to make international calls

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