View Full Version : [SOLVED] Cheap Ways to make and receive phone calls, all via our computer

March 10th, 2008, 08:54 PM
We've just moved homes and are wanting to save on phone bills by not getting a regular phone line. We would like to try doing all our telephony over the internet.

We would like to know the cheapest ways to make outgoing calls to regular phones (not to PCs) within Vancouver, Canada. Also, we would like to know the cheapest ways to receive incoming calls from regular phones to our computer.

Some things about us:
1) We have no regular phone line
2) We have no Windows OS on the computer
3) We have a headset
4) We use Ubuntu Linux 7.10 (Gnome version)
5) We have high speed internet access
6) We don't make too many calls.
7) We would like to have a Metro Vancouver phone number (aka "D.I.D." number). Area codes in Vancouver area are 604 and 778
8)We don't mind a separate program for making phone calls and a separate program for receiving calls, if that is economically wise (read: cheaper)
9)We would prefer that the incoming phone number (DID) be transferable,just in case we find a better company. But it's no big deal if it can't be transferred, if the price is right.
10) For incoming calls, we would like to be able to receive voicemail in case the computer is shut off, we're away from the computer, or we're on the line. We would also like the ability to have this voicemail emailed to us, so that wherever in the world we are, we can see who has left us voicemail.

Thank you!!!

I've checked out a few options and here're the results:

Making Outgoing Calls from Our Computer to regular Phones

Phoning Out: 2 cents a minute

Option 1) Making Calls: Without Vat: $0.0021. With VAT: $0.0024
Plus a "connection fee" for every call made.

Option 2)SkypePro: $3CAD/month for any calls to Canada or USA
About 3,000 minutes (50 hours) a month, under Fair Usage Policy. This is more minutes than I need.

Yahoo Voice Messenger:
Not available.
When I was overseas, I used a Windows XP computer. On the Windows computer, I used Yahoo Voice Messenger (http://messenger.yahoo.com/) to make calls. I have found them to be the cheapest so far. For calls to USA or Canada, it's 1 US cent a minute. However, Yahoo Voice Messenger is still not available for linux. I've tried GYachE Improved (a.k.a. GYachI) (http://gyachi.sourceforge.net/) and it says it has Voice Chat, but I think it's for PC-to-PC voice chat. It does not do PC-to-regular_phone calls at this time.

VoipBuster.org (and other Betamax services)
After payment the user is allocated a number of "Freedays", depending on the amount and the used payment method (€10 by credit card adds 120 Freedays). During "Freedays", no costs are charged for calling to designated destinations. One can converse up to 300 minutes per week for free, measured over the last seven days. If this limit is reached, or no more "Freedays" are left, the ordinary costs for the destinations are charged ($0.19 per minute to USA or Canada).

Minimum payment of $30 USD into balance. 5% tax deducted means there is 30- 1.50 = $28.50 left. 1.1 cent call for anywhere to Canada. 1.5 cent call for Contintal USA.

Receiving Incoming Calls from regular Phones to Our PC

$35/12 months(about $3 a month) or $12/3months (4 bucks a month)
No per minute charge

Not available. No Vancouver number (604 or 778 area code) at this time

SipBroker.com does indeed offer free phone-to-PC calls.I had someone call me (during late night) by first dialing a sponsored DID number in my area code, and then dialing a prefix, and then dialing my sip number (on Gizmo). This made my Gizmo Project softphone ring. However, on another time, a friend told me that the number was busy. So I don't think I can rely on SipBroker's free PSTN number for incoming calls.

Option 1) Per Minute D.I.D: $3.50 per month PLUS $ 0.011 per minute
Option 2) Flat Rate D.I.D: $8.88

Option 1) Per-Minute DID Pricing: $2.49/month and 1.1/min
Option 2) Unlimited DID Pricing: $9.99/month and 0/min

March 10th, 2008, 09:01 PM
I don't know what this has to do with Ubuntu or Linux, but you can get Packet8 and that runs about $27 a month taxes included. You of course need a broadband connection with a router. They give you free unlimited calls to the US and Canada. Very good deal.

The Ekiga software is included in the default Ubuntu install.

March 10th, 2008, 09:11 PM
I was not sure where in UbuntuForums to post this question; the connection with Ubuntu / Linux is that I'm on Ubuntu/Linux. Not a very strong connection, I guess.

March 12th, 2008, 08:45 PM
a bump in the night

March 13th, 2008, 12:26 AM
Check out OpenWengo (http://openwengo.com/).

What I would do also is check out the local Linux/Ubuntu group in your area; they could tell you what would work well for the best price for you.

March 13th, 2008, 12:32 AM
I think Vonage is a great deal. $20.95/Month, Includes unlimited incoming calls, 500 min outgoing calls and all of the services you can imagine. Voicemail, callerid, callwaiting... And they do email you when you receive a new voice mail.

This service has absolutely nothing to do with what OS your running....

March 13th, 2008, 12:59 AM
Vonage is cheap compared to regular phone companies, but when compared to VoIP companies, it's quite pricey.

Vonage: $21/month

Cheaper combo: $3/month for 50 hours of calls anywhere in USA and Canada using Skype Pro
+ average of $3.5/month for incoming DID (phone number) using GizmoProject's Call-In (with voicemail --> email feature)
= 6.50 a month.

$6.50 a month is a lot cheaper than $21 a month.
In a year, Vonage option is $252/year, while the option I've described is $78/yr, a $174 savings.
I don't see why I'd have to pay for Vonage, but if there's something I don't see, let me know.

March 13th, 2008, 01:10 AM
WengoPhone Calls to USA or Canada (http://www.wengophone.com/index.php?yawl%5BS%5D=wengo.public.pricegrid&yawl%5BK%5D=pricegrid&payload%5Bpgl%5D=C#pg)per minute is

0.009 Euros = 0.0137385336 Canadian dollars

To make it more economically feasible to use WengoPhone than SkypePro,
one must make no more than 219 minutes (3 hours and 39 minutes) of phone calls to USA or Canada.

219 minutes x 0.0137385336 CAD/minute = CAD 3.008.

Anyone making more than 3 hours and 39 minutes of phone calls on OpenWengo should switch to SkypePro

March 13th, 2008, 01:49 AM
Hi Hanzj,

I use Skype.

All incoming calls are free, no matter from where. Outgoing calls are cheap. You get many services included, and no monthly fees, only actual usage.

You can buy a telephone number not necessarily where you are, but where people are who call you most, so it's free for them and free for you.

If you call them, then it's stil cheap, per minute, and you buy like $10, of time

Buying the phone number at whatever area code is not that expenssive either, check things out. Plus you can have several ones.

March 13th, 2008, 01:54 AM
Skype doesn't have any SkypeIn (phone numbers) for Canada. So Gizmo5 (aka GizmoProject) seems to be the best option for receiving incoming calls.

March 13th, 2008, 10:13 AM
Moved to the Community Cafe