Internet Telephony - The Last

This is the last article from 4 articles about the way to get cheap communication using internet telephony. This article continued from first article, second article, and http://compubewe.blogspot.com/2008/02/internet-telephony-costs.html. It's taken from here.

The numbers game

There's one other little twist that could save you some extra money or, to be precise, it could save your family and friends some money when they call you here in the UK. People in other countries who use Skype or Callserve to call you in the UK pay only the standard UK call rate for their calls. For most countries that's 1.2p per minute for Skype and 3p per minute for Callserve, which is handy if you've got friends or relatives overseas.
Some of these services can also give you a new internet telephone number that effectively acts as a new telephone line. That's ideal if you want to give the kids their own phone number that is separate from the main household phone number, or for self-employed people who can use the internet number for their business calls.
Skype and Vonage also offer one final clever option, although it costs a bit extra. This may sound strange, but both allow you to choose a new internet telephone number with an area code in another country. Vonage can give you a telephone number with an area code from anywhere in the UK, US, Canada or Mexico.
Let's suppose you've got family in Chicago. For an extra £3 per month, Vonage can supply a new internet telephone number with a Chicago area code. This means your family in Chicago can call this Vonage phone number and will only have to pay local call rates because they're only calling another Chicago number.
It works the other way around too. If your Chicago relatives get their own Vonage telephone number with a UK area code then you - or anyone else in the UK - can call them in Chicago at the ordinary UK rates.
Skype's version of this option is called SkypeIn, and it's even more versatile. Skype allows you to choose SkypeIn telephone numbers from the UK, US, Hong Kong, Denmark, France and a number of other European countries. There's an extra subscription fee of €30 per year (approximately £20 per year), and this includes a voicemail service as an added extra.
Who's listening?
There's no need to worry too much about hackers listening in on your internet phone calls. When you make a call over the internet, your voice is converted into a digital data signal that is indistinguishable from all the other data buzzing back and forth along your internet connection, such as web pages, emails and music downloads.
Any hackers would need to isolate that particular signal from all the rest before they could even start to convert it back into a voice signal they could listen to. It's probably easier for them to tap your normal phone line than to listen in on internet calls.
Be aware, though, that there are a couple of other potential glitches that do need to be taken into account. Many less expensive internet services impose a limit on how much data can be downloaded through an internet connection. This can be as low as one gigabyte worth of data per month.
According to BT it would only take about three or four hours' worth of internet phone calls each week to hit that 1Gb limit, and don't forget that you also have to take all your ordinary web browsing, emails and downloads into account on top of that.
Self-employed people, or families with kids who hog the phone for hours at a time, could easily go way over that limit, so they may need to upgrade their internet account to provide a higher usage limit.
Talk of the town
The last thing we need to point out is that most internet telephony services don't allow you to make 999 calls to the emergency services. This highlights the most important aspect of these internet telephony services, which is that none of them can really be used as a complete replacement for your existing home telephone service.
It will happen in time, but it's going to be at least a decade before digital internet telephony services completely replace the traditional telephone system. In the meantime, though, internet telephony can still save you a bundle, as well as getting the kids off the main phone line for a change.
Internet Telephony - The Last Internet Telephony - The Last Reviewed by Kaisar Woll on 10:29 AM Rating: 5

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