VoIP - Livre d'Or








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livredor
VoIP
Monday, 10 July 2006 at 09:54 pm
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So, I have a new shiny computer (with a literally shiny purple mouse) and a very lovely internet connection. And since basically none of my friends live in the same country as me (though I'm working on that), I'm thinking I should get a system set up for internet-based telephony before I go broke from my phone bill.

Does anyone have any opinions which service I should choose? The ones I'm aware of are Skype, Google Talk and Gizmo, but there may be others I don't know about. The advantage of Skype is that it seems to have pretty good coverage, and indeed all my siblings and my Dad use that service. The disadvantage is that it's a proprietary standard so will not mix with other services, and worse, it's associated with Napster which makes me inclined not to trust it. The advantage of Google Talk is that Google generally do things well, and a fair number of people have Gmail accounts so are at least potentially connected to it. The advantage of Gizmo is that it's open source and ethical and stuff, but the disadvantage is that it's kind of obscure.

I'm including a poll because while I do want opinions and suggestions and stuff, I also want some rough numbers because one of the deciding factors is which service has most of the people I want to talk to among its users.

Which service(s) do you use?

Skype
2(33.3%)
Google Talk
0(0.0%)
Gizmo
0(0.0%)
Other
1(16.7%)

Which would you recommend?

Skype
3(50.0%)
Google Talk
0(0.0%)
Gizmo
1(16.7%)
Other
1(16.7%)
No opinion; they're all much the same
1(16.7%)
I don't see the point of VoIP
0(0.0%)

The other issue is using computer-to-phone or phone-to-computer services, which would be a useful bonus. Google Talk doesn't offer that service. Skype offers computer to phone cheaply, and at least has the possibility of setting up a local number that people can use to call me. The problem with tht is that I would need at least a UK and a US number, and since you have to pay for each, it gets expensive. Maybe I'd be better just paying the international call rates! Gizmo charges slightly more per minute for phonecalls from my computer to other people's landlines, and is rather more expensive for setting up numbers that people can cal from their phones.

Probably the answer is just to download all of them and see how I get on with the aspects of the service that are free (calling other people on the service, and some form of primitive IM client). And then decide which is worth paying for. But anyone who's tried this kind of thing, I would welcome input.

Oh, and while we're on the subject, just in case anyone has been under a rock for the past few days, LJ now has a Jabber service. You need your username and password and the server is livejournal.com, port 5222. Seems reasonably cute, if somewhat gimmicky.


Whereaboooots: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Moooood: optimisticchatty
Tuuuuune: Smashing Pumpkins: Bullet with butterfly wings
Discussion: 5 contributions | Contribute something
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791_43: bunny
From:791_43
Date:July 10th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
16 minutes after journal entry
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Slightly OT, but does Sweden not have its own version of something like Telediscount? (Which, btw, charges something like 2p/min for calls from the UK to Sweden, you should totally make a separate post about that, in really big letters *g*)
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kht: default
From:kht
Date:July 10th, 2006 09:00 pm (UTC)
48 minutes after journal entry, 10:00 pm (kht's time)
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MSN Messenger's latest incarnation (hmm, not sure that's the right word) lets you phone people. Haven't tried it, though.
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pseudomonas: default
From:pseudomonas
Date:July 10th, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
56 minutes after journal entry, 10:07 pm (pseudomonas's time)
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I may be being unfair, but I assume if it's MSN it'l be a pain to get a client for it for Linux?
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 10th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry

Voice Over IP

(Link)
You will recall that I had to set up a Skype account for you. Your user name is

momewrath2121

Usual password.

Currently all the privacy options are set to the maximum but you can easily open up.

I looked at Google Talk, which is very comparable and, of course, open-standard. However, Skype is encrypted whereas Google Talk is in clear. You may not be concerned but it is essential for me. On the other hand Google Talk integrates with g-mail.

Skype In is not particularly expensive and is useful for your friends who do not have Skype.
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timeplease: default
From:timeplease
Date:July 10th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I use SIP-based VOIP in the pub company. You might like to have a look at things like Free World Dialup, which enables people with SIP phones (or computers running SIP phone software) to call each other, and Sipgate for interworking with the UK phone network. (There are many companies offering a similar service to Sipgate, in many different countries, and at a bewildering variety of prices.)

SIP-based VOIP has the advantage that hardware SIP phones are readily available, and if you have an always-on net connection you can still make and receive phone calls when your computer is off.

More generally, VOIP-info.org is useful.
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