Until a couple of years ago, you could make free PC to phone calls with Skype. Are there any other services out there that still allow offer this service?
Not free, but for $40 and $20 a year thereafter a MagicJack sure is a cheap way to do what you need.
If your concern is just cost for long distance, you could use Google Voice, a free service where basically you tell them what number you want to call and they call it for you, then call your phone and connect the wires (in a manner of speaking). Since, to your phone company, it just looks like an incoming call, you don’t get charged for it (depending on your plan).
I’ve never read any reviews of MagicJack, but the nature of their advertisements makes me think they’re pretty crappy.
Gizmo - Which also works with Google Voice.
Gizmo is the same as Skype; no free calls to landlines or cell phones. It’s only free for SIP-based calls.
Been a Magic Jack user for over 2 years, they mostly work as advertised and I never had a problem with mine.
I know it’s not free, but skype is incredibly cheap. I don’t use it aeveryday, but I put $10 in a skype account maybe a year or year and a half ago, and now my account it at about $7.00. It’s about as close to free as you can get without actually being zero.
How the heck do they pay for the call they make for you?
I wonder the same about their other free services that don’t use ads, like Google 411, Google SMS, Google Earth, Picasa and Picasaweb, Docs, Pages, SketchUp, etc., etc. A lot of their stuff sounds too good to be true, but they’ve been around for a few years… shrug
woops. Yep. I guess I was basically saying the same thing wierdaaron was saying then.
Use Google Voice, have it dial your Gizmo account to make your outgoing call - free call, apparently for 3 minutes or less. I’ve done it quite a few times and it works perfectly. I never knew the call had to be under 3 minutes, but I’m not a big phone talker anyway.
I’ve been using MagicJack for a couple of years with no problems whatever; call quality is superior to my regular land line and far superior to my cell phone. Just pretend you haven’t seen the infomercials and go buy one at Radio Shack.
I don’t know the answer but I’m guessing that they place the other call as a local call then bridge the calls together over the Internet. Even if they don’t get billed for LD by a phone company there is still infrastructure to support, so I don’t know how they pull off doing the whole thing for free.
It appears that Google Voice is not open to the public at this time (only to former customers of Grand Central).
Another vote for MagicJack, here. I was dubious as well, but it’s been pretty damn good. I’ve got a computer which acts as a server, so I use that as my phone host. With a couple of wireless phones, I’ve got what is essentially a landline all over my house.
You can get invited by Google. I thought I was lucky to get one but I have heard that you can fill out the info here and they will actually send an invite about a week later.
Don’t forget youtube, which according to wiki was estimated to cost $1 million a day in bandwidth alone.
Google has a ton of cash and they have to justify to their stockholder that they are DOING something with it, otherwise you could put it in a bank.
For instance, Google bought YouTube, while it was losing money and little by little, if you notice they are working in ads and such.
As Marge Simpson said “You know FOX turned into a hardcore porn network so gradually, I never even noticed.”