Calling overseas from a mobile phone or landline can be very expensive. So if you have family in India, finding a way to make free calls to India would help your household budget a lot. Using VoIP, you can easily call India or other international destinations for free.
VoIP is a technology that turns voice into digital data that can be transmitted over the internet, and then interpreted at the other end, turning it back into sound. By using the internet to transmit voice, you are bypassing the phone company and their high international calling prices.
There are a few different types of VoIP. ATA is an analogue telephone adapter that hooks a regular landline phone into your computer or internet connection. IP phones connect directly to your network and contain the necessary hardware and software, hooking to the router with a network jack instead of the landline phone jack. The third type of VoIP is Computer to Computer, and is the easiest way to use VoIP, and the easiest way to achieve free calls to India and other countries from your location. Your computer already has the capability, and only a headset and some software installation are needed to start making free international calls from home. There are now also ways to include software on some mobile phones and other devices to allow VoIP calling.
The easiest way to make free international calls is by using Skype and its service is called Skype-to-Skype. As of January 2010 Skype international calling accounted for over 12% of all international phone calls made. Skype has also infiltrated the mobile market heavily by working with hardware vendors to make their hardware Skype-compatible, and by offering software for those phones to allow users to make Skype calls. These devices are either tethered to a PC or are wifi-enabled to allow use in any wifi hot-spot. One limitation with Skype is that it is no longer offered for Windows Mobile and will not be offered for Windows Phone 7 users.
Skype-to-Skype allows any two Skype users to talk for free over the Skype network. When using computers on both ends to use this service, there are no charges and no minutes used. The service requires that both individuals install the Skype software, register on the Skype network, and then use their chosen usernames to make the voice connection. If using a cellphone or other device, you should check with your carrier to find out the policies and charges using Skype. Some cell providers will use up your minutes with these calls; some won’t. This varies by carrier, depending on the relationship between Skype and the carrier, and the laws and provisions for the country in which you are using the service.
There are many other providers of VoIP for international callers. Truphone is one which is making in-roads into the lucrative mobile market, and they currently have applications for the popular iPod, iPhone and iPad devices from Apple, as well as for Blackberry, Nokia and various Android phones.
There are also services that allow you to make a call from a landline into the service, which then connects you via VoIP to a landline overseas, usually using what’s called a conference bridge. You usually pay a small fee to belong to the service, then can make free calls via the service. This is a great option for those who do not have internet or wifi connectivity, and only have a landline phone. Some of the most popular of these are Jajah, Poketalk, FreePhoneBridge, and PhoneGnome. Using VoIP to make free calls to India and other international locations has never been easier.