Telephone calls via the Internet

  Gingermum 07:23 12 Feb 2003

Does anyone out there have experience of making phone calls via the Internet. Would like to know of your experience.
Also has anyone heard of a company called "Callserve"? I run (voluntarily, unpaid) a couple of web sites for expats in Belgium and have been contacted by them to advertise them. But I belong to the "If it sounds to good to be true, then it is!" school of thought.

  Peverelli 08:42 12 Feb 2003

I don't know if it's what you're talking about but I've used AOL's Instant Messenger which requires talking through the computer's microphone and listening to the PC's speakers/headphones. Apart from a half second delay I have found this to be more than adequate as it equates to a free call, very useful when talking to people abroad. Obviously, the other person needs to be online at the same time as you.

  wint 08:59 12 Feb 2003

I have tried internet phone & instant messaging and have not been too impressed, the half second (or more sometimes) delay makes normal conversation tiring and confusing.

I may have been using the wrong service? As Peverelli says, it is free though.

What about a 3rd party phone operator? I have nothing to do with Planet Talk except that I have been a happy customer for a number of years, they are cheap and the phone lines are good quality, I call USA very frequently (for 3p per minute) it works with BT and NTL (during a short spell as a customer). The website
click here gives the price of calls to Belgium as 3p per minute and Belgium Mobiles as 25p per minute.

If anyone has a recommendation for a good internet phone service, I am sure we'd all like to hear.

Hope this isn't too far off topic......

  Gingermum 11:18 12 Feb 2003

Thanks for the info. Just what I wanted to hear.

  phredd 19:19 12 Feb 2003

We use MSN Messenger to contact family in the States. This is a text chat facility and if you are a reasonably quick typist it works very well. You can pass a lot of messages in a short time. Messenger is a part of the Windows suite and is free. You just have to set up a Hotmail address (again free in its basic format) and the other party has to do likewise.

We also used MS Netmeeting (also part of the Windows suite and also free). With this set up on both computers you can make voice contact over the same web link and also, if you have a web cam, use it as a video and voice link. There is a small delay, depending on the speed of the net connection at each end, but if you are on broadband it isn't too bad.

It's worth experimenting and, particularly if you use a permantly 'on' connection, a very cost effective way of communicating with overseas contacts.

  Qmar 01:05 13 Feb 2003

..if you mean pc to pc.( cf phone to pc ). ..then I have tried a few.. Paltalk is probably the clearest , maybe because you use as you would a walkie-talkie ,ie one-way at a time.

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