internet phone ?
December 28, 2005 4:11 AM   Subscribe

How does a laddie get on the internet to phone people up ?
posted by sgt.serenity to Technology (7 answers total)
I say this as theres someone i'd like to chat with who lives abroad.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:11 AM on December 28, 2005

Try Skype, it is completely free if the other person also has it.
posted by samstarling at 4:19 AM on December 28, 2005

or Google Talk
posted by slater at 4:23 AM on December 28, 2005

skype quite rocks, for international stuff - in addition there are webcam based video options.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:25 AM on December 28, 2005

The technology you're talking about is called Voice Over IP - VOIP. Assuming that you want to call someone's landline abroad, you'll need two things: an account with an internet phone (VOIP) provider and some sort of microphone/headset to connect to your computer.

The VOIP provider is easy, since there are only really two providers worth considering in the UK: Skype and Vonage. Of the two, I'd recommend Skype for your first foray into VOIP since Vonage tends to be used more as a telephone replacement whereas Skype is perfect for casual users and the system is easier to set up. Download the Skype software, set up an account and add some SkypeOut credits to your account; the minimum is €10 which gets you nearly 10 hours of calling.

Once you're set up, plug in a microphone into your PC and you're good to go. You may find it easier to purchase a headset for a couple of quid - this one is good - but you can get by using a standard microphone plugged into your soundcard.

If the person you are calling has a computer and internet connection, you can call their computer directly and cut out the SkypeOut part - it's free. You'll both need microphones/headsets, though.
posted by blag at 7:04 AM on December 28, 2005

You don't necessarily need a mic/headset. I and two friends use skype with headphones only - the built-in microphones on our laptops work fine. SkypeOut is practically unusable without a better mic, though.
posted by dmo at 7:29 AM on December 28, 2005

If you both have a Macs, iChat does this quickly and easily. I use both iChat and Skype so if you need someone to practice with, drop me an email. It's pretty simple, really, but there is some fine turning to get used to whatever your set up is.
posted by jessamyn at 10:03 AM on December 28, 2005

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