Monday, April 10, 2006

The Internet Makes *Everything* Better... Even My Telephone!

A neat technology website called Lifehacker had an item about a company that offers long distance internet phone calls ('voice over IP', or VoIP, for the geeks among us) using your own normal phone equipment. It told me that the site, Jajah, offers a free five-minute trial phone call.

Well, all I needed were a few of my favourite buzzwords ("internet" and "free") to send me to the site.

It was *really* easy. I entered my phone number in one field, entered the number I wanted to call in the other field, and clicked the 'call' button.

My phone rang, the message told me that Jajah was connecting my call, and it went through.

Now, given to opportunity to make a free call anywhere in the world, where should I call? Paris? Jakarta? Hong Kong?

How about... my parents here in Nova Scotia. Pretty sad, even I must admit.

The phone on the other end rang and rang. Then I got voicemail. Darn. My parents obviously have a *way* too busy social life.

So I burned off one minute of my free five (the webpage was timing my call for me as well). But I still had four to go.

Luckily, I wasn't *totally* out of options. I called my cousin Steve. (No, I still haven't started watching his LOST dvd's yet!). Still here in Nova Scotia. Still pretty sad. (I *do* have a sister-in-law in Bermuda, but I only had her cell phone number, which didn't work with the free trial.)

So anyway, I called Steve. And he was home. Even better, he's as big a geek as me.

So we spent a couple minutes extolling the virtues of the VoIP call. Both of us agreed the quality was surprisingly good, with no delays or anything. And even if we did pay for it, it would have been really cheap. Something like under 2 cents a minute.

I ended the call with Steve before the four minutes was up, in keeping with my fondness for the "free" part of the free trial. We'll have to use MSN to do our regular comic book geek gabfest.

So did I mention that this was really cool?

Because it was.

And there was no downside! At least, none that I've discovered yet.

So give it a try!

One last thing:

Try and call somewhere exotic and exciting for me? Please? And then tell me about it, so I can live vicariously through your adventures.


At 3:34 PM, Blogger Tracy said...

thanks for the tip!

My sister is in Australia... if I knew how to dial a call to Oz, I would. Now that it will be cheap i might just give it a try!


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