Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al (livredor) wrote,
Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al
livredor

VoIP

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.
Tags: rfh
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