Free and Low Cost Telephony Services (Part 2)

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Free and Low Cost Telephony Services (Part 2)

Not long ago,  “Free and Low Cost Telephony Services” was unheard of, or would have been outright oxymoronic. But thanks to United States v. AT&T, an antitrust lawsuit file in 1974 against AT&T, and settled in 1982, the walls of monopoly started to crumble. Along came MCI and Sprint_both telecom companies_ to give the competition a run for its money.

Consequently the rates of long distance telephone and international calls have dropped considerably, resulting in huge savings from service providers, much to the delight of mobile phones and landline phones customers alike. To sweeten the deal and entice the customer, telephone companies or telephone service providers offer free phones (with annual contracts) and free calls at night and on weekends.

Telecommunication technologies continue to evolve by leaps and bounds. VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) has revolutionized the telecommunication industry. Transmission of voice, facsimile and voice messaging is done over Internet Protocol (IP), as opposed to Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Simply put, VOIP Telephony is conversion of analog voice signal to digital format, back to analog voice at the other end of the line .

VOIP Telephony is also referred to as IP Telephony, Internet Telephony, Voice Over BroadBand, Broadband Telephony , Broadband Phone, or Broadband Telephone according to wikipedia.

As a result, a plethora of Internet Telephone Companies have mushroomed and offer a variety of telecommunication services ranging from free phone calls, free video calls, free instant messaging, free e-fax to paid services such as PC-to-Landlines calls, Complete Telephone Systems, Business Telephone, Telephone PBX (Private Branch Exchange) or PBX Telephone Systems, Office Telephone System, Business Telephone Systems, Virtual Telephone, DSL Telephone, Small Business Phone Systems, Small Office Phone Systems, to name just a few of the myriad of Telephone Services.

For your telecommunication pleasure and enjoyment, a list of both free (to reel you in) and paid telephony services is provided below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpKkC0pHrWg[/youtube]

Multiple Forms of Telecommunications

There are several forms of telecommunications: Telepathy, Telephony, Television, IM (Instant Message), Text Message, Beeper, Pager, Fax, e-Fax, E-Mail and Mail (Snail Mail). Telephony is a concretization of Telepathy; Telepathy, an abstraction of Telephony.

Telepathy

According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, “Telepathy is communication through means other than the senses, as by the exercise of an occult power“. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Telepathy is communication from one mind to another by extrasensory means“.

Our definition? Telepathy is inter mental communication using brain (hardware), mind (software) and thought (vector). The brain is the birth place of ideas generated by the mind, the ideas are conveyed inter mentally by thoughts. Telepathy is the mother of Telephony; Telephony the daughter of Telepathy.

Have you ever experienced or used Telepathy to communicate? Have you ever thought of someone, to be “surprised” with a sudden phone call (from the person thought of) stating the following: you’ve just crossed my mind, that’s why I’m calling. The caller is under the impression that he/she initiated the call, when in fact he/she is just responding to a telepathic message (from you) received earlier in the form of a telebeep or mental beep.

TeleGeo

Have you ever used TeleGeo? If you drive, it’s frustrating going in circle to locate a parking space. Thanks to TeleGeo, the likelihood (not a certainty) of locating and securing a parking space has dramatically increased.

Here is how to proceed: Mentally scan the area within a radius of a certain distance to visualize a potential vacant or soon-to-be vacant parking space, you’ll receive a mental message in the form of intuitive signals indicating as to which direction to drive in to locate and secure the parking space.

N.B.: This form of Telemental Exercise does not guarantee the location and securement of a parking space, it just minimizes the dog-chasing-its-tail exercise to secure a parking.

Another option to locate an about-to-be-free parking space is to download the free app Spotswitch. Join with Email Address, Username, Password, Vehicle Make and Model, Length, Cell Phone Number, etc.  Spotswitch is iPhone-compatible.

  • http://spotswitch.com/SSWeb/mobile.aspx

Most closed-minded “intellectuals” would relegate Telepathy to the confines of esotericism or the realms of occultism-  A true and obvious sign of narrow-mindedness! There is nothing esoteric or occult about Telepathy, or, for that matter, premonition and intuition. Telepathy is, au contraire, exoteric.

Everyone is endowed with the same telesense. Most are conscious and aware of it, and choose to cultivate, nurture and explore new realms of telepossibilities. Others elect to ignore or outright dismiss it, pretexting it to be bordering on esoterism or occultism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We were all born with the telepathic “muscle”. It’s up to us to exercise it. Telepathy defies time and space. Telepathic communication is ubiquitous and almost instantaneous. In a flash. Telepathy is free. Brain (hardware), Mind (software), and Thoughts (conveyers of ideas), and Mental or Teleinterlocutors are the necessary tools to engage in Telepathic Communication.

In keeping with the rather generous list of Free and Low Cost Telephony Services mentioned in part 1, here is another copious list of the same in part 2:

Voipbuster

Voipbuster offers limited free calls, valid only for landlines in destinations marked as free. Check rates for paid calls.

  • www.voipbuster.com

Voipstunt

Voipstunt offers a call program similar to Voipbuster (Voipstunt and Voipbuster share similar websites layouts and themes).

Internetcalls.com

Internetcalls.com offers both free and paid calls. When limit of free calls is exceeded, normal rates apply. Check rates before dialing.

  • Download software
  • www.internetcalls.com

Voipraider, Voipcheap, Voipdiscount, Webcalldirect, Voipwise, Smslisto, lowratevoip, Justvoip, and Nonoh offer just about the same call features: Free and Paid calls. Some require software downloads and headset. Most rates are in Euro. Check rates before calling.

  • www.voipraider.com
  • www.voicecheap.com
  • www.voipdiscount
  • www.webcalldirect.com
  • www.voipwise.com
  • www.smlisto.com
  • www.lowratevoip.com
  • www.justvoip.com
  • www.nonoh.net

Ooma

Ooma is a (paid) gadget that allows free US calls and low cost international calls (check rates).

  • No PC needed
  • No headset needed
  • Just plug the device in your High Speed Internet outlet and a regular phone, and start making phone calls.

If you need features such as Instant Second Line, Three-way Conferencing, Multi-Ring, Back-up Number, Enhanced Voicemail (Do Not Disturb, Send to Voicemail, Call Screening, Voicemail Forwarding), Ooma offers a paid Premier package.

The following products are from Ooma: Ooma Telo, Ooma Wireless Adapter, Ooma Bluetooth Adapter, Ooma HD Mobile App to make calls from Android, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch devices over Wi-Fi and 3G networks.

Just connect the Ooma Telo to your high-speed internet and existing home phones, or the Ooma Telo Handset (Telephone Handset) to start calling friends, family and relatives. Again, this is a VOIP-based phone, have a Charged Cell Phone or other alternative means of communication as backups.

  • www.ooma.com

MagicJack

MagicJack is a cute little telephonic gadget, reasonably priced (with annual contract), which, once plugged into your computer, enables free local and long distance calls, free directory assistance, free voicemail, free call waiting, free conference calling_ with a free Phone Number.

MagicJack has its fans and detractors. Most customers have nothing but praise for Magicjack (when the device works), others nothing but complaints- rightfully so (when the device fails to work, unintelligible and repeated echos are heard).

Benefits

  • Great for international travel to call back home and call forward (keep your cell phone number private by giving out only Magicjack number). Call forward works with computer On/Off.
  • Loaded with features for an affordable price (no monthly bills).

Drawbacks

  • Computer must be ON at all times to make and receive (call forward excluded) phone calls. The money saved monthly on phone bills will be spent on electricity bills.

Update: The latest magicJack works without a computer ON 24/7.

  • No toll free number for customer service. Customer support/service is web-based.
  • No electricity, no Broadband or DSL, no High-Speed Internet or Cable Internet, no Wireless or Wimax, no Fios or Internet Access, no Wi-Fi and no computer mean no phone service (can still receive forwarded calls and voicemails).
  • It bears repeating the suggestion made below: Always use a Charged Cell phone (How To Charge Your Cell Phone For Free And $ave Money ) or other phones as backups. Do not rely exclusively on a VOIP Phone Service as your lifeline. Register your phone number physical location for eventual 911 emergency.
  • www.magicjack.com

netTALK

A close competitor to MagicJack is the netTALK DUO by netTALK. The netTALK DUO’s selling points are, unlike MagicJack, the following:

  • No PC required
  • Toll free 800 support number
  • Fax friendly (can be used for faxing), and
  • Calls are not time-limited, among other features.

netTALK also offers Videophone (download netTALK videophone usb driver v1.28)

  • www.nettalk.com

Let’s revisit MagicJack. Determined not to be outdone by the competition, MagicJack has kept pace and recently launched MagicJack Plus. MagicJack Plus is, in many regards,  similar to netTALK DUO (minus a few bells and whistles). Here are MagiJack Plus’ features:

  • No PC required
  • Fax-friendly
  • SmartPhone App (coming soon), etc.

For an in-depth comparison of MagicJack and MagicJack Plus’ features vs netTALK and netTALK DUO’s features respectively, please read the following:

CQPhone

CQPhone is a Free Softphone or Free Internet Telephone for Voice, Video and Typing chats. You can “share pictures and web pages”. It “works with dial up, DSL and cable modems”. A free private phone number is given to every user and CQPhone is adware, registration and spyware-free. The latest version is version 2.4. Feel free to download.

  • www.cqphone.com

Voip-based phones and their supporting equipments (Voip Phone Adapter, Router, Modem, DSL [Digital Subscriber Line], PC) are electricity-powered. In the event of power outage or blackout you are likely to be phone service-deprived.

Hence the need to use Voip Phones in connection with Cell Phone (How To Charge Your Cell Phone For Free And $ave Money) and Power Inverter, Jump Starter & Emergency Power Source, Generator or Uninterrupted Power Source (UPS), Solar-Powered Backpack, Solar Panels (Solar Chargers) and Emergency Cell Phone Chargers as backups.

By now you realize that, in order to take advantage of most of the mentioned freebies, a computer, PC, Laptop, Smartphone, DSL, Broadband, High-Speed Internet, Fios, Voip Phone Adapter, Router, Modem, Internet Access, or a combination of most of the above are needed.

Calling Cards/Phone Cards

In case you have not crossed the digital divide, or already done so, many a time you just want to make a phone call (especially international calls) without messing with all that techno-mumbo jumbo. In this case, the easiest and simplest thing to do is to buy a phone card and make your call.

  • No monthly fees or bills
  • Pay as you go

You can also open an account and refill your card as needed (no lost minutes). Phone Cards, or Calling Cards, come with a pin number or without a pin number (pinless). Pinless Calling Plans can be recharged by calling a toll free number for customer service. To buy cheap, better yet, inexpensive phone cards, check out…(come back soon for more details)

  • telefonez.com (phone cards purchase resources coming soon)

For a pinless calling plan, see…(come back soon for more details) The Prepaid Calling Card Industry is a multi-billion ($4 billion, with annual growth of $400 million, according to Intelecard News) dollar business. Get your slice of the pie, your fair share of this lucrative business by taking advantage of this free business opportunity: Your own calling card website. Whether you have a website or not, there is an opportunity to earn money. To explore that opportunity, visit:

  • telefonez.com (panoply of opportunities coming soon!)

Free Text Messages

There are times when a phone call won’t do or you can’t afford it. Send it in writing electronically for free by way of free text messages. With OnlineTextMessage you can send free SMS (Short Message Service), or free text messages to text message-enabled mobile phones.

  • Enter the recipient’s mobile number
  • Enter your e-mail address
  • Pick a subject
  • Select a carrier (Verizon, Nextel, T-Mobile, AT & T, etc.)
  • Insert Quick Text (Abbreviations such as 404 for I don’t know, A3 for Anytime, Anywhere, Anytime, etc.) and
  • Enter Message and Send Message.

www.onlinetextmessage.com

Text4Free

Text4Free offers similar free services.

  • www.text4free.net

The following sites offer free text messages services:

  • www.txtdrop.com
  • www.txt2day.com
  • www.textforfree.net
  • www.anontxt.com
  • txtemnow.com

Please read Privacy Policy and Terms Of Service before use of service.

Free Fax

When Fax Technology (send and receive documents via a facsimile machine) came into being, senders and recipients of letters and documents could not have been any more pleased. (The Post Office, on the other hand, could not have been any more displeased and inconvenienced. Just kidding!)

Written correspondence bypasses and forgoes the Post Office’s traditional snail mail delivery system for almost instantaneous communication from, to and between Fax Machine A and Fax Machine B, and vice versa. Our definition of a Fax: a telephone call in writing.

Fax Technology has evolved. Nowadays, eFax (ability to receive and send fax documents in digital format, via email as opposed to the traditional paper fax machine) is all the rage. The following sites offer free fax services:

Free Fax Button Send a fax to virtually anywhere in the world (71 countries including the USA), free of charge. Limit 2 faxes per day. No registration required.

  • www.freefaxbutton.com

Freepopfax

Freepopfax is said to be “Truly Free Internet Faxing”. Send unlimited faxes to 48 countries. Service is advertising-supported.

  • www.freepopfax.com

eFax eFax Free is a free online fax service from eFax.

  • www.efax.com/efax-free

Faxzero “Fax 1 document-maximum 3 pages. Maximum 2 free faxes per day”. Free service is ads-supported.

  • http://faxzero.com/

Myfax Send a fax for free. Anytime. Anywhere.

  • http://myfax.com/free/

Read Terms and Conditions, Terms of Use before using any of the aforementioned free fax services. Last, but not least, faxes can be sent and received from your computer. For Windows XP, for instances, here are the steps. Click on:

  1. Start
  2. All Programs
  3. Accessories
  4. Communications
  5. Fax
  6. Either Fax Console, Fax Cover Page Editor or Send a Fax.

Telecommunication Technologies are moving at so rapid a pace, let’s hope by the time you read this article, its content, technologically speaking, is still relevant and useful*. Enjoy!

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