But overall, Vonage succeeds because it takes the PC out of the Vo IP equation. Well, AT&T is now divesting itself of their residential long-distance phone interests.
Conference calls are easy to set up, and instant messaging is possible, too. The sound quality is at least as good as a normal phone call if you use the speakers/microphone combination, and excellent if you use a headset.
A "call" to a Skype contact is free, regardless of duration and where the other person is based.
But half a year ago we downloaded and installed Skype at my computer and that of my parents, and our phone bills have been slashed. To use Skype, you need a computer (Mac or PC), an internet connection (ideally broadband), and a microphone headset hooked up to your computer - although the external speakers and microphone that come with most modern computers will do fine.
Skype looks a bit like an instant messaging programme, like Windows Messenger.
But the advantage is people can call you on a "normal number" and your PC does not have to be switched on in order to make or receive calls. The flexibility to simply pick up your phone and dial out and receive calls makes Vonage very attractive for people who do not want to be sat at a computer.
The pricing is also very attractive and many people will save money on their calls.
All in all Skype is brilliant, very user-friendly, very cheap...
but you won't be able to do away with your old home phone yet.
The ugly word stands for a little piece of software called Skype, which allows computer users to make calls over the internet using "peer-to-peer" technology.
The beauty of it: the software is free, the sound quality of calls is outstanding, and if the other party has Skype as well, calls to the other end of the world won't cost a penny.
The calls are as clear as speaking to someone down the road, if not clearer. Neil, Liverpool, UKI have been with Vonage since May, 2004.