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Author Topic: VOIP - alternatives, PROs and CONs.  (Read 2272 times)

IainB

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VOIP - alternatives, PROs and CONs.
« on: March 08, 2015, 11:56:14 AM »
I initially started using VOIP to make cost-effective phonecalls (i.e., at rates much cheaper than toll charges) to phones in international destinations.
The ones I used were:
  • (a) PC-to-Phone, and
  • (b) a little-advertised NZ Telecom VOIP service - where the user can place calls from their NZ Telecom landline, to mobile and landline numbers overseas.

I still use both of these, and the other day I opened an account with Skype - the rates are similar to PC-to-Phone.

I have also been using FREE PC-to-PC audio only, and audio-video systems, including:
  • SpeakFreely
  • Google Chat
  • Skype

I would be interested in sharing experiences of these and other VOIP systems, with DC Forum users.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 11:00:46 PM by IainB, Reason: Typo correction. »

IainB

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Re: VOIP - SpeakFreely.
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 12:04:45 PM »
Speak Freely VOIP phone.
(Notes as at 2004-05-12.)

This seems to be an even better alternative to Skype (which is likely to be free only as long as it's in Beta test release), and a lot more secure.  It requires no indexing server (which Skype does need) for your contacts - you just type in their IP address - in fact, if you are chatting to the contact on (say) MSN, Speak Freely somehow picks up their IP address.  There is a version for Linux or Unix also, I gather.

Speak Freely was apparently developed by one John Walker over a period of 7 years, so it will have all the bugs knocked out of it.  It is still under gradual improvement in the public domain through Soundforge:
http://sourceforge.net/

Steve Walker announced his cessation of development of Speak Freely here ("End of Life Announcement"):
http://www.fourmilab.ch/speakfree/
- this makes fascinating reading, including the linked articles; I recommend you read it.


References for Speak Freely:
http://www.fourmilab.ch/    (what a great website!)


You can download the latest v7.6a of the software from:
http://sourceforge.n...mp;release_id=209133

The Windows v7.6a (2004-01-11 08:20) has 3 files:
* the Windows version, with cryptography: speakfb.zip
* the source code for this: speakfs.zip
* the Windows version, without cryptography: spookfb.zip

There are several Soundforge mirror sites.  I downloaded these files directly from Asian mirrors:
http://keihanna.dl.s...freely-w/speakfb.zip
http://keihanna.dl.s...freely-w/speakfs.zip
http://aleron.dl.sou...freely-w/spookfb.zip
_________________________________

2015-03-09: The SourceForge site is apparently still at v7.6a: Speak Freely

Renegade

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Re: VOIP - alternatives, PROs and CONs.
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2015, 09:34:02 PM »
I've got a Korean SK Internet phone. It looks just like a regular phone and works wonderfully.

I've tried Jitsi, but can never seem to get anyone to use it, so... pretty useless. :(

I would be interested in hearing if anyone has found something that is easy enough for anyone to use.
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4wd

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Re: VOIP - alternatives, PROs and CONs.
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 01:49:17 AM »
I've got a Korean SK Internet phone. It looks just like a regular phone and works wonderfully.

I've tried Jitsi, but can never seem to get anyone to use it, so... pretty useless. :(

I would have thought you'd have RedPhone or something similar on your Android phone also :)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 01:50:23 AM by 4wd, Reason: GFU »

Renegade

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Re: VOIP - alternatives, PROs and CONs.
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 08:08:26 AM »
I've got a Korean SK Internet phone. It looks just like a regular phone and works wonderfully.

I've tried Jitsi, but can never seem to get anyone to use it, so... pretty useless. :(

I would have thought you'd have RedPhone or something similar on your Android phone also :)

Thanks for the suggestion.

One of the problems I have is dealing with corporate firewalls. My phone gets around them nicely as it goes over the regular telephony network.

Now, for mobiles, well... I'm not a fan of them. They still have crappy speakers and mics that are near useless. I've been spoiled by Skype with far better audio quality, and I have grown to loathe telephony quality audio. I prefer to use my own high quality equipment, and most often, people have equipment that is much higher quality than the crap in regular landline phones or mobile phones. That's quite nice to deal with.

Also, the majority of my phone calls (other than to my wife) are all overseas/international, and usually over Skype.

Does anyone remember Dialpad? That was a while back. :)

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Edvard

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Re: VOIP - alternatives, PROs and CONs.
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 07:23:31 PM »
...
I've tried Jitsi, but can never seem to get anyone to use it, so... pretty useless. :(
...

I too tried Jitsi, also Linphone, Ekiga, Twinkle, and a few other obscure SIP clients.  The trouble is, it seems like every SIP network has their own client, none of them work together (actually, that may have changed in recent years), and they all charge money for calling land lines.  I have accounts with IPtel and Ekiga, though I haven't logged in for so long, the accounts are either lapsed or I've probably forgotten my passwords, and they were probably linked to my Lavabit email, so recovering is an impossibility.
So much easier to use Google Talk from Gmail.com, which is free to call land lines in the states, so if I ever need VOIP, it's either that or Mumble, which I use to talk to my son when he's out with friends and needs me to troubleshoot the Minecraft server.

I also kept hearing that while SIP works pretty good for voice alone, it sucks when trying to shoehorn video in with it, so there were several proposals to 'upgrade' SIP to something that can handle realtime video calls and teleconferencing.  Skype was really happening around the same time, so nobody cared and nothing was done, IIRC.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 07:33:58 PM by Edvard »