Free Calls Over the Internet – Tips and Tricks

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We constantly hear about people talking to each other over the Internet. We often see an advertisement offering free calls, saying all you need is an internet connection.

Is it a myth that we can make free calls to a telephone number from a computer? Do we need an internet phone line to place a call? Is it possible to call to destinations anywhere worldwide for free? Or do you need a special internet phone? Are the calls free? What if the person I want to phone does not have Internet? How can there be free calls for mobile phones when mobile telephony is known to be expensive?

If you have that kind of question, this article is for you since it throws some light on basic ideas you can use to dig on and make free calls, thanks to the Internet.

Internet

Free calls? How free is “free”?

Yes, you can make free calls over the Internet. Free, as in not paying a cent. There are some costs, though: the connection to the Internet (you need access to the Internet at least at one end of the call), and in some cases, you will have to see advertisements.

Chat programs that allow you to make free calls

Most of the free programs that people use to chat will allow you to talk, too. You will not be charged for talking in the same way that you are not charged for speaking. If that is your case, all you need to do is find how (and if) the program you are using to chat with your buddies will let you also engage in voice chat.

Free Internet calls to and from mobile phones.

The newest mobile phones (smartphones) also work as small computers and can be connected to the Internet. To make free calls from such a mobile phone, you only need to find the right program to suit your mobile phone and the provider you want to use.

Specialized companies offer free calls.

A small group of companies have become famous for offering free calls to other subscribers. You can take advantage of that promotion by subscribing, especially if you want to talk to someone using the same company.

Internet telephony for consumers

There is a standard technology that is more available than you think. That technology is called SIP; all you need to do is subscribe to a free service and download a free program. You can talk for free with anyone who has subscribed to the same company, and after some learning, you can also speak for free with people who use networks of other providers. Some of these providers offer free calls to telephone lines in many parts of the world because they promote their service. Others provide a free internet telephone service if you see or listen to advertisements.
In many cases, the free calls are short (for instance, you can talk for only four minutes, but you can make as many four-minute-long calls as you want for free). Other companies offer free telephone numbers so they can call you on your computer from a telephone. Still, they only offer a telephone line for incoming calls in remote areas.

Back to the basics: how to make your free calls when everything fails

My grandfather used to say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher.” Sometimes, you can’t find a service that works for a particular (for example, because you can hear well or get constantly disconnected). In such a scenario, you can resort to your craftsmanship and do it yourself, providing internet access on both ends of the call. Several programs will allow you to make calls over the Internet from one computer to another without using any company’s services. I will give names here because they are free, non-commercial applications: Tinytalk, Loudtalks Lite, Speak Freely, and Freewebfone are good examples. To connect those programs between two computers, you will need to know how to find the IP address of the computer you want to talk to, and you might have a little fight with the firewall of both computers. Also, the authors of those programs will usually publish instructions on how to do so. With some effort, you will talk to places the specialized companies do not cover.