Wednesday, August 31, 2005

How to Make Phone Calls Without a Telephone - New York Times

New York Times says.....
How to Make Phone Calls Without a Telephone
By THOMAS J. FITZGERALD
Published: September 1, 2005
Internet telephone service is well on its way into the mainstream.

Companies like Vonage, using a technology called voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP, offer cheap long-distance rates and features not found with conventional phone service. Cable giants, too, are taking Internet phones to the masses.Now a subset of VoIP services, called PC-to-phone service, is gaining momentum. With these services, users can make calls to and receive calls from regular phones on their PC's as long they have a broadband connection, VoIP software downloaded from the Web and a headset.One advantage of such services is the ability to make calls through an Internet-connected laptop when cellular service is unreliable. Many people also prefer the convenience of talking while working on a PC; the services can operate while you are doing other tasks on the computer. Another advantage is price. PC-to-phone VoIP rates are less expensive than conventional phone calls and in many cases cheaper than phone-to-phone VoIP services, which route calls through broadband modems to regular phones.Early versions of these services have been around since the late 1990's, but the rise of Skype, a mostly free VoIP service using file-sharing technology, has increased competition in the field.

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