How To Make Free International Calls
The increasing availability of high speed internet connections around the world has enabled the spread of internet voice chat and Voice Over IP (VoIP) and the growth of services providing free international calls. Available for computer-to-computer connections, voice – and sometimes video – chat is an increasingly popular option for anyone who has access to the right hardware and an internet connection. The world has become more interconnected, and people have friends, family, and business associates around the world. The ability to make free international calls has become an important part of this web of personal and business connections.
Basic Technology And Equipment
The hardware and software requirements for internet voice chat or phones calls are straightforward, although they can vary from provider to provider. Since free international calls are usually available only for computer-to-computer connections, each party needs a computer, of course. At minimum, the hardware must be able to run one of the required operating systems as well as support the other accessories discussed below. The results with video calls will be better with a fast processor installed.
Most of the providers support Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems that are at least two versions behind the current one. Some options require the users to install dedicated applications on their computers. Others make use of browser technology and require specific plugins to use. If the browser approach is taken, the service provider should give detailed information about which browsers and which versions will work to make calls.
A microphone and speakers or headphones are necessary accessories. Most computers now come with a built-in microphone and speakers, but many people will use a headphone set with integrated microphone for better sound quality. If making video calls, a camera is also required. As with the other accessories, a camera is a common feature on newer computers. But external cameras are inexpensive to buy and easy to install.
Another critical resource is a broadband internet connection. A recommended minimum for voice calls is 100 kbps (kilobytes per second) upload and download speed. Video needs a faster connection, at least 512 kbps download and 128 kbps upload speed.
Skype and Google Chat are two of the current big names for those looking to make free international calls. Other players in the field include traditionally text-based chat tools that now support voice. This group includes AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger. Apple has introduced its own product, FaceTime, that is supported on its computers and certain of its mobile and tablet devices.
Other options, such as cheapcalls.com and Tango Voice & Video Calls – and similar VoIP applications for smartphones – are expanding the options for people looking to make free computer-to-computer calls. T-mobile has even introduced Bobsled, an application for making free calls from within Facebook.
Several of the voice chat options also support calls made from a computer to a landline or mobile phone, but for a fee. So stick to the computer-to-computer option for free calls.