Alternative sources of internet telephony??

  Effie 22:28 21 May 2005

Can anyone please advise me re the following:

I am interested in calling my friends on their landlines who do not have internet access using VOIP.

I am currently using Windows 98SE and although I am currently using dialup, I am planning to change over to broadband very soon.

Unfortunately, Skype, which appears to be the main provider of this type service, only appears to work with the newer versions of Windows.

Anyone got any suggestions or experience of alternative VOIP providers where using Win 98 isn't a bone of contention?

Many thanks.

  TomJerry 22:31 21 May 2005

for example, call to usa only 1p a minute with telediscount click here

  Effie 23:30 21 May 2005

Unfortuantely, I'm not currently based in the UK which means that I cant avail of your link but will certainly keep it to mind for future reference. Thanks

  Graham ® 09:55 22 May 2005

Will Vonage be of use? It doesn't use the PC, just the broadband:

click here

Navigate to your country.

  Effie 11:50 22 May 2005

Unfortunately,I'm not currently in the UK and my location isn't covered by their service so alas, Vonage wont be of any use in this respect at this specific moment in time.

Thanks anyway.

I really need a service which isnt tied down to any specific location, and can also be accessed worldwide.

  DieSse 12:33 22 May 2005

click here But their PhoneGaim software doesn't seem to work with Win98 - try the Xten Lite software. If it works for you, you will get 5 free 5min calls every day to regular landlines - I use PhoneGain with WinXP, and it works excellently - and 25mins of FREE calls every day!!!!!!!

Or better still get a proper SiPPhone for use on broadband.

SiP use open standards for thier products - you aren't locked in to proprietary software, as is the case with Skype.

  DieSse 12:37 22 May 2005

PS try PhoneGain with Win98 - it does seems to work for some people.

  Effie 13:08 22 May 2005

Thanks DieSse, sounds interesting. Havent heard of a siPPhone, how does it differ to the other phones which I have seen on E-Bay?

I actually have several good headsets including a USB one, as I use voice activated software for assignments etc,so if I used this, would I need the phone which you are suggesting? Thanks again

  Stuartli 13:54 22 May 2005

This phone setup can use earlier versions of Windows for Skype:

click here

But, in any case, many people have reported that latest Skype versions do work with 98SE etc.

  DieSse 14:54 22 May 2005

There are basically two methods for using VoIP -

Softphones - which are programs that work via software in your computer, and need a mic/speakers (preferably a headset).

VoIP phones - telephones which do not use the computer, but plug directly into a broadband connection, where the functionality resides in hardware. It may be inside the phone itself, or in an adaptor into which a standard phone handset plugs.

Either type may communicate directly with either type across the BB connection - at no charge (other than the charge for being on the net in the first place) - or they may communicate via a server to a regular telephone, for which a charge is made for the final routing across the POT system (POT = Plain Old Telephone).

If you're merely going computer to computer, you may, of course use MS Messenger or many other simliar services, which in these circumstances work just as well as VoIP (maybe even better, as you can use cmaeras too!)

There are closed systems (which use proprietary software) such as Skype. And there are open systems (such as SiP) which use open standards. the BIG adavantage of open standards is that you are not constarined to talk to another user with the same kind of harware/software.

Skypes major problem IMHO is it's use of it's own standards - as VoIP grows, the advantage of using your setup to talk to people with other setups is essential. SiP can do this.

If you go down the VoIP route, as you have a computer, you can use a softphone or a "hard"phone. the advantage of a "hard"phone is that you can use it without the computer - and you can even get "virtual" telephone numbers, which others can dial just like a regular landline.

BTW the FREE calls you get with SiP can also be used to call mobiles within the USA and China - and I beleive there is a special offer of FREE UNLIMITED calls to Australia at present.

  Effie 17:03 22 May 2005

Having read your explanations and had a dekko at the links you have very kindly provided, I'm keen to learn more about VoIP 'open' providers as I'm not very keen on the prospect of being tied to a propriety software as in the closed system as you mentioned, DiesSe. Any suggestions re same would be appreciated.

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