PC-based VoIP uses a software application on your PC to organise calls and pipe your voice across the internet. The major features of this kind of service typically include:
The ability to view whether your contacts are online.
Text messaging and file exchange systems.
The ability to quickly and freely set up teleconferences.
Low or free subscription rates, and the ability to talk to other users free of charge.
Some providers are currently offering or trialling video services.
NOTE: Calls to conventional telephones attract charges, although considerably below those of normal providers, especially for international calls
The main disadvantage of PC-Based VoIP telephony is its reliance on your PC – the PC must be on to make or receive calls. You must also be quite close to your PC, although some companies are selling devices like a cordless phone which integrate with PC-Based VoIP packages.
The main advantage is the low start-up cost. If you already have a recent PC and broadband, chances are you already have the required equipment. The VoIP application or program is free, and if you have several people with similar setups whom you regularly phone, the savings could be instant.
Using Internet Based Phones
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