Skype is one of the most widely used VoIP service providers for computer based communication in the world. The success of VoIP has taken the world by storm and most likely given many telephone providers a run for their money due to their great pricing structures.
To me, Skype has long been a useful business tool which I use to stay in touch with clients worldwide. It certainly beats using the land line which costs me a fortune for international calls, especially for countries such as Switzerland (where my family and some of my best friends live). You can imagine that a weekly phone call on a land line would cost me about $60 and this is with a reduced plan already.
With success comes competition. In recent years we’ve seen several new apps and organizations spring up with their own Skype-like capabilities. Here are some of my favorites. Check them out, choose one you like and begin saving money if you haven’t jumped on board yet.
Vbuzzer allows users to send instant messages after downloading the software onto their computer. US and Canada residents can also enjoy free Internet faxing with this provider. VoIP services are available and start at 1.5c/min.
This software promises great results to existing Skype users. Sending an SMS to a US based account holder from the US will only cost you 8 cents per message. What looks really attractive to me though is their FREE calls network of some 36 popular countries. When you buy credit with the company you can call any of the landlines within the approved countries for free. Please read the guidelines as some limitations apply.
- Smart VoIP
SmartVoIP is another VoIP client that promises you cheap rates and great service. According to their list, rates are incredible cheap and chances are that you will benefit from using them and save money. You can also make phone-to-phone calls with this software client.
If video calling with several friends (or business partners) is your thing then ooVoo is a great client to research further. ooVoo comes with several usage plans and you can also use the service to call others, send files and chat with text.
Probably known to most Gmail users, Google Talk is directly integrated into your Gmail account. To be honest, I don’t like using this service because of the integration. It distracts me from doing what I set out to do, namely to read and reply to my emails. You can however download GoogleTalk as a separate software to using it in Gmail which is probably the safer method if you don’t want to waste unnecessary time.
iChat is the instant chat messaging suite for Mac users. It is a powerful messaging sofware that allows you to place video calls and much more with the integration of your iSight video camera.
Jajah needs to be seen since it promises to connect you free of charge to any phone in the world on your first call. You simply insert your own home number, then your friend’s number and press the green call button on their website. It will then connect you with your chosen line. There is a system in place that limits you to the amount of time you can use free phone calls though but having said this, Jajah is worth a closer look if you want to save money calling overseas.
Tell me, what is your favorite VoIP and why?
|Written on 7/29/2009 by Monika Mundell. Monika is a passionate freelance writer and pro-blogger. Her blog Freelance Writing helps new freelance writers to get started in this exciting industry. If you like to work with Monika, feel free to visit her Portfolio site.||Photo Credit: Gari|