Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Seven Skype Alternatives

Skype isn’t the only game in town! Other Internet telephony providers are even cheaper than Skype for some types of calls. You can mix and match alternatives to Skype to get the overall best deal. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best deal. Using the tips that follow, and by searching using an Internet search engine such as Google (using search terms such as “VoIP” and “softphone”), you will quickly find plenty—and in some cases cheaper—alternatives to Skype. However, a few words of caution. When considering alternatives to Skype, be sure to consider issues such as voice quality (Skype’s voice quality is very good), privacy, security, ease of use, support for advanced features such as video and chat, and software and hardware compatibility with your PC.
To get you started, here are some alternatives to Skype:

􀁕 www.voipstunt.com is a softphone that you install on your PC which allows you to make free calls to other VoIPStunt users. In addition, it allows you to make free calls to regular landline phones in several countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Even more amazing is the fact that you can also call mobile phones for free in some of these countries, including the United States and China. More amazing still is that you can get a free regular dial-in number, although the list of countries for which you can get them is more restricted.
􀁕 www.voipbuster.com offers free calls to regular landline phone numbers in the following countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Venezuela. Like VoIPStunt, VoIPBuster offers free regular dial-in numbers for some countries. Check the VoIPBuster website for details and restrictions.
􀁕 www.gizmoproject.com is a softphone with features and services that are very similar to Skype.
􀁕 www.freeworlddialup.com is a service that is based on open standards and so can work with different softphones. It offers free softphone-to-softphone calls, and free calls to some regular phones.
􀁕 www.google.com/talk is a softphone from the folks at Google. It enables you to speak for free with other Google Talk users, and supports instant message chat. Unlike Skype, you can use Google Talk to chat with other chat message client programs.
􀁕 messenger.yahoo.com is an instant messaging chat client that also supports free PC-to-PC voice calls. It also offers low perminute rates for calls to regular phones.
􀁕 messenger.msn.com is a softphone that supports voice calls, video, and chat messaging.

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