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Internet Telephony Software Comparison Discussion

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Internet Telephony Software Comparison Discussion

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
18 replies 3.8K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
8.3K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
This area is to discuss various software packages used for internet telephony.  It relates to the following article Completely free calls worldwide via your PC

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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • gt94sss2gt94sss2 Forumite
    4.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Just wanted to point out that Yahoo Messenger (the UK version) and BT Communicator are one and the same product.

    The US version of Yahoo Messenger is different.

    Also, its worth pointing out if you want to make a call to a landline (not a PC-->PC call) using BT Communicator/Yahoo Messenger (UK version) then you need a BT landline - as they add the cost of the call to your normal BT bill (after your 1st month of free calls)

  • I use Skype. Why? Well apart from the ease of use and in my experience, excellent voice quality, it is the only VOIP (or quasi-VOIP) available for the Mac. This therefore makes it the only option for complete cross-platform internet telephony. Works with Linux too. Both Mac and Linux options are beta releases, and yes there are some things that could be better, but having spoken to business colleagues in Singapore, Australia, Canada and the USA for free, I am delighted with it, and wish I had shares in the company!

    It is also worth looking at the site to see who their financial backers are - all vulture capitalists who will be looking at their exit routes, so future revenue streams are important, and I suspect that it will not be totally free for ever. But as the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines.

  • mike_patersonmike_paterson Forumite
    1.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I use Skype too and like it very much. I have recently done a bit of research into SIP which is another way of getting internet telephony. Basically Sip (Session Initiation Protocol) is a protocol that allows telephone services over the internet. There are a lot of providers offering Sip calls free over the internet and paid to 'real' numbers. I tried to register at siphone, but had problems - possibly as it is a USA/Canada service. I did however succesfully register at
    which give me a telephone number, an associated 0870- number (in case people really wanted to ring me at my PC at 0870 prices !) and voicemail - when you receive a voicemail - it will email it to you (very quick too !).
    It all seems to work pretty well, but I am not sure if it will replace Skype for me - we'll have to wait and see.

    I also found some other companies that support SIP for the UK (but they charge £4.99 for setup) (good support response)

    Another useful sites is which allows you to get yourself a UK phonenumber that can be forwarded to any SIP phone or to landlines in several countries.

    You will need to use a free software phone, or if you want you can buy a telephone that allows you to make sip calls as well as regular calls.

    To infinity and beyond!
  • Overnight I was emailed a link to a news release regarding Skype, which clearly lays out their strategy for future revenue streams.

    Here is the link:

    So now we know. This makes me even more confident about the longevity of the service, and reading between the lines, suggests that the current personal free service will remain that way.
  • I'd just like to add my own endorsement to Skype having used it for both internet to internet and also to call landlines and mobile phones.

    The quality between two people on the internet using a headset and mic is fantastic. Talking to a collegue in Oz it was like he was in the room.

    Also, the quality to landlines is also excellent and getting noticably better.

    I beleive the Skype programmers were the same people who created Kazaa, they've just pushed the technology on a bit. Hats off to them, if I were in their shoes I'd be a very happy bunny indeed.
  • The last time I looked into using Skype I was told it could not run on Windows 98 and I would have to upgrade my software. Does any one know if this is still true or has anyone tried using Skype with Windows 98.
    Be ALERT - The world needs more LERTS
  • shannishanni Forumite
    353 posts

    Thanks...that's exactly my question ??? I went to download it and saw that you need 2000 or xp.
  • Hi,
    I've been using Skype on Windows98se and Windows ME for a couple of weeks with no problems.
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always recieve lots
  • Hi
    I have been using Skype on Windows 98 now for quite sometime for international calls and it works well - we don't seem to have any problems. We do however have a broadband connection.

    Hope this helps :)
  • kaloskalos Forumite
    31 posts

    I've also been using an earlier version of Skype for some time on Win98SE, through a broadband link, without major problems.

    I've used Skype-out from a broadband connection on a WinXP PC to landlines in the US and Australia, and found it to be the equal of a current cell-phone call - full duplex, and no time-lag problems on international calls.

    Very recently, I have used Skype on a PC-to-PC basis from an XP laptop, on a free 56K, V90 dial-up ISP connection in the US. To broadband-connected PCs in the UK, the XP-loaded desktop connection was consistently just fine, however, the Me-loaded PC connection had a horrible time-lag, but was otherwise quite clear.

    Hope this information may be of help.
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