Feeds

Consumer VoIP heads for prime time

Computing Which? calls up runners and riders

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Dialing over the net represents the future of consumer voice calls, but shortcomings still affect some popular services, according to a new report.

Making calls over the internet is far cheaper than conventional voice calls and becoming more popular as the use of broadband rises, prompting Computing Which? to put several services to the test. The Consumer Association magazine looked at six free internet phone services: Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, Sipgate X-Lite, Google Talk (trial), MSN Messenger, and Babble.net.

The services all offer the ability to call other PC users with the same software without charge. They also commonly offer the ability to make cheap rate calls to landline numbers. Computing Which? looked at how easy it was to set up these services, their effectiveness, and their range of features.

Skype scored high marks for its easy set-up and "exceptional voice clarity". Meanwhile, Yahoo! Messenger won plaudits for its range of features including the option of landline calls, webcam chats, instant messaging, voicemail, and conference calls.

Google Talk, however, was criticised by the Which? team for shortcomings to its audio wizard that mean audio level indicators only kick in once a call has been initiated. And Babble was let down by its "poor help files and software bugs".

"Using your PC as a phone can be so cheap – often even free – that pricey landline and mobile bills could be in danger of becoming extinct. With mobile phone services entering the broadband market, VoIP looks set to be the choice of the future," Computing Which? editor Jessica Ross said. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.