How To Make Free Phone Calls On Your Computer

Skype History

Skype and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) was invented by two Scandinavians in 2003 called Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. They were working in Luxemburg at the time of invention.

Skype is a small piece of software that you can download from the Internet for free. If you have a broadband PC or laptop connection then you can call between two computers anywhere in the world. You can also conference up to 5 participants, send instant messages and share files.

VOIP Technology

Skype makes use of VOIP technology - Voice Over Internet Protcol - to save you money on your phone calls.

Voicemail will record a message for you if canít take the call, and allows you to send voice messages between users.

Whatís really cool about Skype is that you can also call almost any number in the standard telephone network, receive calls from normal telephones and forward calls to up to 3 different numbers when you are away from your computer.

Free Telephone Calls

People use Skype to stay in touch in ways that they havenít been able to before. You can talk to each other for hours free of charge, even though they may be thousands of miles apart. You can carry your landline number and check you voicemail wherever you go, and avoid roaming charges. Skype is also ideal for staying in touch where the telephone infrastructure is poor.

Encrypted Phone Calls

There are a lot of services out there that do a similar thing. Skype is different because it has the best call quality and works behind any computer firewall without any setting up. Your calls and chats are totally private because they are encrypted. You can make calls to any telephone and any computer, whether it is PC, Mac, Linux or PocketPC.

Free Skype VOIP Downloads

For your free download or for more information visit the Skype Website.

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Skype Equipment

With VOIP there is no need to buy extra equipment - you can use your PC or laptop microphone and speakers. For those who prefer to hold a handset, perhaps to ensure better privacy, these can be purchased from Skype. As well as handsets there are headphones with speakers so that you can make and receive calls whilst wandering around the house or doing jobs like the ironing!

Normally you would need to have your computer switched on to receive incoming calls. However you can overcome this by purchasing an adapter to overcome this.

Some VOIP companies charge you a set up fee and monthly charges - there are no such charges with Skype.

One limitation for most VOIP companies is that you may not be able to make emergency 999 calls.

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