Skip to comments.Using a PC to make phone calls...
Posted on 08/13/2013 12:03:08 PM PDT by topher
There are various things out there. But I could not find something to set this up.
VoIP (Voice over IP) has been around for a long time.
I would not mind just using headphones and a microphone to make the phone call.
There is a website IPKall.com that will give you a Washington state telephone number.
But I am not sure how you set up the VoIP part. I tried to see if there were any other threads on this.
I guess using SKYPE is one way to do this, but not to call someone else who has a real telephone...
Basically you need a SIP provider and a SIP client. I can do all of this out of the box using Google for both. And it’s free with Google. Most providers you’d have to pay.
Check out C3
I used it heavily when I was working in building where I got little to no cell signal. While it is pushed mainly for gamers, you can use it to make domestic calls and it’s free.
>> I guess using SKYPE is one way to do this, but not to call someone else who has a real telephone...
Skype will do this (it’s called SkypeOut), but it costs extra; I forget how much.
You can also get a “SkypeIn” number; that’s $60/year.
It works pretty well if you have good bandwidth.
That’s apart from the question of whether all of your calls are then stored on some gubmint server. :-)
Actually, you can use Skype to make calls to people with traditional phone systems. I used it when it was called a “SkypeOut Number”, don’t know what it’s called today. You can use “credit” or buy a plan for about $3/mo. When I used it, it worked very well.
Is there a free “open source” way to do this yet?
I just asked about that. Now I look stupid. Answer first, then question.
I just remembered how much SkypeOut costs: like 2 cents a minute anywhere in the US. Overseas calls are a little more but still cheap. You can set up a CC account and they reload your account when it gets down to a couple dollars.
I don’t think there is any one-time fee but it’s been so long since I signed up that it might have changed.
Some of this changes over time...
I have do more research...
Easiest solution is MagicJack - it now plugs directly into your router, you don’t have to worry about keeping a computer on, price is about $12 a year, with $35 for the first year (including hardware.) You can find it at OfficeDepot, etc. Great use of a coupon if you’ve got one for one of the office stores.
We just hooked ours up to a 3 handset base station. Works like a champ.
I’m using MagicJack as a business line. I have my business phone landline hooked up to it. Been using it about 3 years. You can’t use it to dial into conference calls, since you can’t dial toll free withit.
All in all, it is great for dialing out, and not so hot for folks dialing in. I bought five years at a flat rate of $64 and I can call everywhere with it in the US. You can buy time for foreign countries fairly inexpensively.
Skype’s OK, but you have to trade handles before you can use it. I use it for conferencing with our own offices. You can now share desktops with it. Excellent service, you can use it internationally, and it costs nothing.
Between MJ and Skype, my office works pretty well I guess. I won’t renew MJ to pursue something cleaner.
I’m still waiting for the telepathic phone where you can carry on a conversation completely silently.
C3 is free but it does require you to register. It really hasn’t caught on outside of the gaming community. It allows you to create a chat room and it assigns it a phone number that people can call it to so you can have people on their computers and folks on their phones in the same session together.
You dont look stupid, no worries. It’s easy to miss things when people start commenting.
For those with no qualms about using GMail...you get a free Google Voice number or at least call-out abilities with every GMail account.
Set these up several years ago before Google acquired whoever this service was before and have had problem-free phone lines and voice mail with email notice since 2007 or so.
If you choose to not "register" a free line associated with a GMail account (in order to select a permanent number anywhere you want to...local or across the country) you can still call outbound for free (domestically) and the number shows as a generic Google Voice number.
It is perfect for me as I never have to leave the screens when I need to be here in order to make a call with a Dollar Store (HONEST!) headset that has been problem free.
Sounds like it would work pretty good if you set up a private room where only the people you know can use it.
Can you call out from it?
another vote here for magicjack, it’s so cheap in comparison to regular land-lines.
I believe they do make magicjack2 now, it can plug directly into your router or switch, without a pc.
Thanks everyone for the help...
I found one and ordered one for under $40 (with shipping included).
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