If you’re looking for an affordable, easy way to make international phone calls, Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP technology may be the solution. VoIP allows you to use a broadband Internet connection to make telephone calls instead of a regular phone line. Depending on the type of service you choose, you may or may not need special hardware, and varying charges and restrictions apply.
At the most basic level, VoIP requires you have a computer, a broadband Internet connection and a microphone for talking over the computer network. You can easily create an account with a VoIP provider and make computer-to-computer calls for free.
If you would like to use VoIP to be able to make calls from a telephone instead of your computer, you will need to sign up for paid services with a VoIP provider. Some providers allow you to use a special adapter that works with your conventional landline telephone. The adapter connects to your high-speed Internet connection. You may also be able to purchase a special VoIP phone that doesn’t require an adapter.
Providers that offer telephone to telephone VoIP services charge varying rates. Some allow you to make unlimited calls to local or long distance numbers for a flat rate, similar to many mobile phone plans. Usually these rates are much lower than you would pay with regular phone service providers. VoIP telephone calls made to international numbers usually have very low per minute fees, or you may choose a provider that offers a flat rate for a set number of international phone call minutes.
VoIP service providers offer varying rates for how much you are charged for computer to telephone or telephone to telephone VoIP calls. Rates also differ if you call from your computer to a mobile phone. It’s very helpful to understand your normal call patterns and usage before choosing a provider. You can then evaluate different calling plans and packages to select exactly the right one for your needs.
It’s also a good idea to avoid long term contracts or service commitments with any VoIP provider. Many providers offer a free trial service that can help you determine whether or not their service is right for your needs. Others offer monthly service contracts that don’t involve long-term commitments. Paying up front for yearly service with a VoIP provider may be risky, and with so many other options available today, this can easily be avoided.