Save money every month with free internet phones, free phone calls, and other free long distance services. Instead of paying AT&T, Sprint, or MCI, you can get free long phone calls using this guide and the list of services at the bottom of this page.
Free Internet Phones Features Overview
There are three distinct classes of free long distance calling services. The first type allows you to call from a regular telephone to another phone in exchange for viewing advertisements, visiting websites, or signing up with partners services. Not needing a computer is a definite advantage to this class of service, as well as the high quality calling and ease of use. Downsides include spending time on advertising and a limited amount of amount of free long distance each month. BroadPoint was the pioneer of this class of service, but unfortunately, they went out of business. However, PhoneHog now offers this class of service with a large number of improvements over Broadpoint's system.
In the next class of free calling services, you can call any phone from your computer. The advantage of these types of services is that your free calling is unlimited and you do not have to spend time listening to ads. To pay for this service they display ads on your browser window during the call, but these can easily be ignored. One disadvantage is that you need a computer and your computer must be equipped with a sound card, a microphone, and speakers or headphones. We recommend using a full duplex sound card (most quality sound cards are full duplex) so that you can talk and listen at the same time. We also recommend using headphones, since speakers can cause a distracting echo effect.
Although not quite as good as the telephone, the sound quality of these free internet phone services are generally very good. However, the call data is transmitted over the internet, so a poor internet connection may cause discernible lag and poor sound quality. Also, the software can be buggy and unstable in some systems so we recommend downloading and installing the latest operating system and browser updates. Unfortunately, many of the providers of this class of service have gone out of business or begun charging for the service.
The third class of free internet phone call services involves calling from one computer to another computer. No special service is necessary beyond a standard internet connection for each computer, but special software is needed for each computer. This software is available from a variety of places, even for free. Basically to make a call both computers need to be running, connected to the internet, and running the right software. This limits who you can call and can be inconvenient, but since many companies have stopped offering free pc to phone calls, it can be the best choice.
If you can't find a good internet phone (unfortunately most of them have gone out of business or begun charging for the service) or if you aren't happy with the inconvenience or sound quality, you will probably just stick with the telephone. You can still save a lot of money if you are signed up for the right calling plan based on your long-distance needs at the right long distance carrier. Check out these offers:
Free Internet Phone Providers
This is a list of the best free long distance services along with comments about each service's special features or limitations:
PhoneHog is completely free. Just join and they will send you a free PhoneHog Calling Card that you can use from your telephone or a pay phone. You can earn free minutes by visiting web sites, registering for free with their partners, taking advantage of exciting opportunities, or shopping in the PhoneHog Mall. It is high quality phone network calling, not internet calling. There is no need to switch long distance companies, there is no cost of any kind, and no credit card is required.
Dialpad used to provide unlimited free long distance service from your computer (in the US and Canada) to any phone within the US. Unfortunately, they have eliminated their free service, and now only offer a paid (low-cost) service. As with the other services, you must have a full duplex sound card for both parties to talk at the same time. However, in this situation you must manually select whether you are in talk or listen mode, while other services switch you automatically. While this is a pain, the automatic switching on other services can sometimes cut off the beginning and end of statements.
Computer Required: MS Windows 95/98/NT (100 MHz and up recommended)
Internet Connection: 28.8 K or greater
Browser required: MS Internet Explorer 4.0+ with Java VM 5.0 or Netscape Communicator 4.5+
Other requirements: Sound card, speakers or headphones, and a microphone or headset