Taking advantage Of PC to Phone Calls?

PC to phone calls, the second IP Telephony system developed after PC to PC enables user to make a call from computer to fixed/landline and mobile phones. Other terms used for this method:

  • PC2phone
  • web to phone
  • computer to phone and
  • Internet/online phone 

You know many thought that PC based systems would be forgotten; in fact developers enhanced the service with great features and benefits. Nowadays giant companies like Google and Microsoft are becoming the main players in VoIP space by providing free and low cost Internet phone calls.

  • Recently Google acquired Gizmo and Grand-Central then came up with its new service known as Google Voice.
  • Similarly Microsoft acquired Skype which is used by millions across the globe.

Thanks to developers and the competition for enabling us benefit from PC to phone calls.

Requirements

Let's see what you basically need...

1. Laptop or a desktop computer and headset equipped with a microphone

Laptop / Notebook
VoIP Headset/Headphone
Desktop Computer

2. Internet access such as dial-up, high speed Internet (DSL and Cable)

3VoIP phone service provider 

4. a software application called VoIP soft-phone. You find and download this from VoIP developers and providers' sites such as Counterpath, NCH, MSN, Yahoo and Skype.

How PC based phone calls work...

PC2PC, PC2Phone and Web2Phone calls have a slight difference. With PC2PC you make a call to another computer; however, with PC/Web to Phone you actually call to a regular fixed or mobile phone. The below diagrams illustrate that...

See! The above diagram, the call travels through Internet and ends at another computer whereas on the below diagrams it ends at landline/fixed telephone and mobile phone not a computer. 

Web to Phone

Similar to click to talk, web2phone is an embedded soft-phone that runs on a provider's website. This type of VoIP system is gaining popularity because it runs on your browser and requires no installation/download. You probably have used or came across Evaphone, iCall and Google Voice who provide web-to-phone service.

Advantages...

  • FREE - some VoIP providers offer absolutely free of charge calls to certain countries.  Visit free VoIP calls for more about this
  • Cheap - when free service is unavailable, you pay few cents and can save a lot especially on long distance and international calls
  • Easy - PC2phone is easy to install, all you need is the requirements mentioned above
  • Added features- using a soft-phone you can also IM and video chat with a family/friend

Disadvantages...

  • not totally FREE - providers don't let you call anywhere you want for free
  • you depend on a computer - unless using from laptop or smartphone 
  • poor voice quality - voice and video calls on PC may not be as good as when using a VoIP device and smartphone. Most of the causes for that can be Internet traffic congestion and slow Internet speed/connection. If you experience these problems use a VoIP speed test tool to check your speed.

Tips

✔ Don't forget to take advantage of instant messaging and video chat

✔ You can also use a USB phone to avoid depending on a headset/microphone 

✔ Want to avoid downloading a software on your computer? Use browser based soft-phone (a shown on the above diagram)

PC to Phone Call Providers

Google Voice Logo
Skype Logo

As you know the number of companies that offer similar systems have increased tremendously. Visit PC to Phone call providers page to check out, comment and recommend more companies.

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You may be interested in the following related articles:

PC to PC Calls

Click to Talk

External related link/s and resource/s:

PC to Phone Calls with Free SoftPhone - Callcentric


› PC to Phone Calls




VoIP Speed Test