Internet call waiting service for PCs: does it really work?

We have one telephone line, yet we use the Internet a lot. I’m interested in whether those internet call waiting applications really work as advertised. Supposedly, when you receive a phone call, the program alerts you, so you can quickly logoff and answer the call.

Sounds good in theory, but does it work?

Any recommendations on brands?

I use CallWave and it works brilliantly. It costs about 4 bucks a month I think (perhaps a bit more, not sure exactly) and serves as a great alternative to a 2nd (or 3rd) phone line.

I used to have Internet Call Display from Bell Canada, which is basically the same thing. (This is way back when.) I have DSL now, so it’s not an issue, but I got rid of the service a long time ago anyway, quite frankly because it was pissing off my friends.

Here’s why: I’d be on the web (surfing for porn or whatever), and a call would come through. I’d see who it was, then click the button that would give them a message basically saying that I knew who was calling, but would rather stay online, so please leave me a message. Rather rude, if you ask me.

Anyway, even though my service was from a different telco with different software, it worked very well. When I did choose to take a call, it would take a few seconds to log me off (meanwhile giving the caller a message to hold on), then my phone would ring. I do recall the first version being a bit buggy and unstable, but bear in mind, this is back in 1998.

The thing you need to know is that they all require you to have caller ID and call waiting. If you don’t have those services, it won’t work.

No they don’t. Caller ID was provided from CallWave, we do not have it on our line. It does require call waiting though, but that’s a minor monthly expense, and we already had it anyway.

Scott Evil - Call is different from that. It acts just like an answering machine, then it relays the message to your speakers, thus it won’t piss off your friends since you’re not really choosing between them or the net.