May 03, 2011

Top 13 Skype Alternatives

Skype currently has over 560 million registered users who rely on the popular program to stay in touch with friends and family.

But if you've been a long-time Skype user you are probably already aware of the fact that there are days when the program seems to acts up. Sometimes calls get dropped, and if there is too much background noise you can't hear what the other person is saying.

Whether you're sick and tired of relying on Skype, or you're simply looking around for other alternatives to the program, here are 13 alternative programs you could try using to stay in touch with your loved ones:

1. ComBOTS
ComBOTS is a program that will connect your PC or landline phone with others around the world for cheap or at no cost at all. You can call other mobile phone numbers from your PC or landline, and you can also use the chat feature which allows you to include audio and video as well.

2. iChat
iChat is a popular option for Mac users, but it also has an instant messaging application that will work with your AIM or MobileMe account as well. Not only does it have an instant messaging app, it also has support for audio, video and screen/application sharing, and you can also videoconference chat with three other users at the same time.

3. Gizmo Project
Gizmo allows you to make cheap or even free international calls, and you can use the Gizmo Call In and Call Out feature to call other phones for as little as 1.9 cents per minute. You can also record conversations, map where your caller or receiver is calling from, and much more.

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September 03, 2008

How do I transfer my phone number to Skype?

Hey Jonathan!
Is it still true that there is not a way to transfer your phone number to Skype?
So if currently, if you have the Skype account, you can't transfer your current phone number to it?
I'm working on finding a client a better/cheaper internet/phone service, but am not finding what I'm looking for.
Thanks for any help you can offer in this.


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March 16, 2008

Phone Cards: Calling Tips for Calling Card Buyers and Users

Here are two great phone calling card tips that you would do well to pay attention to next time you go to buy a calling card.

Tip #1 Retail phone cards vs. virtual calling cards online
I live in Washington where there is a general sales tax of almost 9%. Many people that live on the border of Washington and Oregon know that by doing their shopping in Oregon (a state without a sales tax), they can save almost $9 on a $100 calling card. The point of this story is that you should not only compare the cheapest rates on the card, but also the cheapest place to buy the card. If you want to avoid sales tax. Buy your phone cards online from a virtual calling card provider like that offers great international rates. This will allow you to beat out those retail cards on the sales tax alone, not to mention the lower calling rates you often get from going through an online retailer vs. a "real-world" retailer (who makes a lot of their money in the markups they apply to the per-minute rounding rates on the card).

Tip #2 Walgreens and Wal-Mart International phone cards

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March 14, 2008

Issues with Making International Phone Calls Abroad

Here's an email we received from an obviously frustrated individual.

Hey Maybe you can help me. Making International calls has always been an issue for me. I was born and raised in Europe so I make a lot of international calls back and forth to my family and friends. Over the past few years, making these calls has created a fair amount frustration and anger. While the cost of making these calls has come down, it has become harder and harder to make these calls. There are now so many options when choosing a company for the calls, and more often than not everyone is very competitive.

It has always been hard for me to make these calls. Over the years, here in the U.S. it has become more of a frustrating process for me to make international calls. In order to dial an international number, most companies require you to dial their 800 number first, then you must dial an extension or the number on your calling card (which can sometimes consist of as many as 20 numbers), and then finally you dial the desired number. Once you have done all this, sometimes your call may go through or it may fail. For me, more often than not, the call fails and doesn't work. Not to mention the fact that for me, international calls have become expensive.

Then, when it comes to my home line (you have probably experienced this too), there are many companies that call me on a daily basis, asking me if I am happy with my phone provider and if they can try to beat the price.

When I call the rates are usually between 10-15 Cents per minute. This may seem low to some people however these charges add you quickly and it become expensive before you know it! My monthly bill is usually between $150-$250 (depending on how much I talk) and this bill is just for international calls. In addition, I have a cell phone bill and a home phone bill. I am not rich by any means and I have a lot of trouble affording this type of service.

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March 10, 2008

Advantages of Using VoIP

We use VoIP to make international calls. (VoIP is composed of services like Vonage, Packet8, PCtoPhone, Skype, and others.) Whoever invented VoIp was a genius, and has created a life-saver for anyone traveling abroad. I am not originally from the United States. Even though I live here now, I am Asian, and most of my family and friends are all in the Philippines. I have relatives and friends in other countries too, especially around Europe.

I use my VoIP Phone service to call them. Amongst all the choices for International calling, I would recommend VoIP services because not only is calling through VoIP much less expensive, but the quality is good too! I say this while letting you know that I've used calling card and cell phone services for international calling as well, but I have really never been all that satisfied with the quality. Generally speaking, calling cards are almost always more expensive.

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