Top VOIP Services For Making Internet Phone Calls

By: Smart Mobile Wireless | Posted: 02nd October 2011

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is, at its heart, just a method for communicating by voice over the Internet, instead of through traditional phone lines.

However, with VOIP comes a whole new set of technology challenges because communication through the internet is typically much slower than a direct telephone connection. This is because of how internet traffic is routed and because data sent through the internet is usually split up into very small chunks before it is transmitted and is reassembled later when it is received. These things can introduce big delays that are very annoying when speaking to someone else, causing you to constantly talk over each other, as well as causing garbled speech when all of the data isn’t received in a timely fashion or if it is in the incorrect sequence.

In this review of VOIP Services we are going to take a look at some of the biggest players in the game and then also introduce you to some you may not be as familiar with.

Google Voice – Officially launched in 2009, Google Voice is a relatively new player in the VoIP space. It was actually around for quite some time under a different name, Grand Central, as early as 2005 but has since been purchased, modified, and re-launched by Google. Unlike Skype, it is not currently possible to use Google Voice as an independent telephone service but seems to be something Google wants to do.

Magic Jack - It only takes a few minutes from start to finish. Really the drawback to Magic Jack is that you need an always on computer to run it as well as open specific ports on your computer that leave you susceptible to malicious users online. The magic Jack itself costs about $39.95USD, which includes only one full year of service.

Net Talk – The only advantage that Net Talk has over magic Jack is that it can be hooked directly up to your router instead of a computer so you don’t have to leave your PC on all the time to make and receive calls.

FreePhoneLine.ca – FreePhoneLine.ca is a lot like Skype, but specifically targeted at the Canadian market. The free service allows you to download a software phone that you can use to place free long distance calls to most Canadian cities. The voice quality is pretty decent but there are short service outages from time to time that might are certainly going to be an annoyance to you.

Vonage – When it comes to reliable VoIP service, Vonage is about as reliable as it gets. Unfortunately, they are about as expensive as it gets too. They were one of the first companies to offer consumer friendly VoIP service to the general public and their prices haven’t changed much since they first launched back in 2001. Their basic service costs $19.99 a month and includes 500 minutes of local and long distance calls anywhere in Canada and the US. Their unlimited plan used to cost $39.99, but has recently dropped to $29.99 for unlimited calling to Canada, the USA, and 60 other countries worldwide. Unfortunately, there is a fair usage cap of 3000 minutes per month.

Jaxtr – Jaxtr is a lot like a calling card that is great for using with cell phones. You use it by entering your phone number along with your contact’s phone number into their web form or smart phone app and then you are given a local access number to call using any phone. Your contact will also be sent a text message telling them the number they need to call to be connected to you. Once you have both called in you will be able to talk for free as long as you want. This free service is available in over 50 countries including Canada and the USA. The only time you have to pay for the call is when you don’t want the hassle of making your contact call in. You can be connected to them immediately by pressing 1 after you call in and you will be billed according to their extremely low per minute rates (0.8˘/min in Canada & USA).

JaJah – Is a call back service that allows you to place calls by entering both your phone number and the person’s number whom you are calling into their online form. First, JaJah will call your phone and then, once you answer the call, you will be connected to the other person. This works much like how the Google Voice call back system works except you don’t have your own telephone number. Most JaJah calls are billed though.

Primus - has a VoIP phone service called TalkBroadband that is similar to Vonage only not quite as good. Their packages start at $19.99 per month.

Voip.ms – Voip.ms is a very straightforward Canadian-based VoIP service that is meant to work with an ATA in conjunction with a standard home phone. They offer Canadian phone numbers (currently 4 provinces) at a small additional cost and provide you with the ATA configuration settings at no cost. You can also choose to pay a small monthly fee for unlimited incoming calls. Calls within Canada charged at 0.5˘/min (half a cent per minute) and USA calls are a bit more.

Now that we have gone over all of these traditional VOIP services with the funny names, let me introduce you to one that doesn’t require you to be chained to your computer in order to be able to make calls using this cost saving technology.

Smart Mobile Wireless has just launched three mobile applications, Smart Mouth Mobile, Smart Mouth Kids, and Smart Mobile, and unlike other mobile VOIP services, these communications apps work cross platform on Apple iOS, for iPhone, iPad and even iPod Touch as well as Android and Blackberry devices.

The Smart Mobile Wireless applications allow the user to enjoy unlimited user to user voice and text, (user to user includes all three versions as well as cross platform), All-in-one IM client that even supports Facebook chat, Twitter integration, voicemail and more.

The smartest thing to do is take advantage of the $19.95 annual subscription upgrade that gives you unlimited INTERNATIONAL calling to any number anywhere! NO monthly charges, no per minute charges, and the freedom to call anyone. This is why I ended this review with the service available through the mobile apps from Smart Mobile Wireless, unlimited calling to any number for twenty bucks a year? That is just too good to pass up.
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Tags: google, drawback, few minutes, chunks, timely fashion, internet traffic, voice over internet protocol, voice over internet, telephone service, voice over internet protocol voip, router, voip services, skype, telephone connection