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Internet telephony for beginners: where is the truth and where is the myth?

Not so long ago, a similar problem arose sharply with me. Having got a new job, I was forced to make a huge number of calls not only outside the city, but also outside our country. Conventional telephone communications (and even more so cellular) was clearly not suitable for this business, because my salary would definitely not have covered the costs, and I was simply forced to look for an alternative solution. And I must say, I found him!

True, the path to it was through thorns of delusions and prejudices, which inevitably get in the way of people going to their goal. Without going into the jungle of high information technology, you still need to mention what Internet telephony is in technical terms. The correct name for voice communication via Internet is VoIP-telephony (from English Voice over Internet Protocol – literally, voice over Internet protocol), but let this name not scare you, just remember it, it will be easier to navigate in the literature on this issue.

The general scheme for making calls via VoIP telephony is as follows: as a user, you select your VoIP provider (a company that provides VoIP telephony services), then install special software on your computer, configure it, and voila – you can Call anywhere in the world at very low prices. I will not dwell on the process of registration with providers and especially software settings, for confident Internet users it will not be difficult, just wander carefully through the site of a VoIP provider.

The purpose of my article is to dispel the most common myths and break down established stereotypes among most Internet users who are just starting to study the issue of making low-cost calls over the Internet.

Myth 1. VoIP telephony is always free. My answer is no. In our life, little is left free, and Internet telephony is definitely not on this list. Most of the provider companies declare in the brochures and on their websites that the calls are free, but in fact the call will be free only from computer to computer, provided that both users have the same provider!

That is, if you and your friend have the same provider, only then you will communicate for free, and then – you can only call from computer to computer. If you want to call from your computer to a landline or cell phone, you have to fork out according to the tariffs!

Myth 2. Prices for calls from a computer to phones are not too different from the offers of mobile operators. My answer: there are differences, and moreover, significant ones! Call the support service of your mobile operator and ask about the cost of a call from your mobile phone, say, in the USA. Impressed by the figure in one minute? And if you need to talk for an hour?

And now let’s look at the price of one of the VoIP-communication operators (comtube.com): the price of a minute of conversation is from 18 kopecks to 35 kopecks, depending on the state! There is a difference? Of course. You just need not to be lazy and look for an operator with favorable rates for the direction you need.

Myth 3. Skype rules! And again the answer is no! Of course, Skype has a huge number of advantages (both the quality of data transfer, the ability to make video calls, and the large reach of the client audience, etc.), but the price of calls to mobile or landline phones is definitely not the lowest.

To verify this, let’s compare the tariffs for calls to mobile or landline phones with Skype and the wonderful Russian operator sipnet.ru. Tangible? Not that word!

Myth 4. The quality of voice transmission is poor Three years ago, one could definitely answer “yes” to this question, but technology does not stand still, and now most providers have excellent communication quality!

And, of course, the more expensive the tariff, the better the quality.

Myth 5. Calling through the Internet is possible only if you are connected to the Internet. I hasten to please: if there is no Internet, making cheap calls is still possible (and even necessary)! The fact is that many providers provide the service SMS-order call. Let’s say you walk along the street and decide to call a friend in Germany. We wrote a message to a special short number, indicating in it the phone number of the friend you want to call, and after a couple of seconds the provider’s server calls you. You answer and wait for a connection with a friend! And then enjoy the conversation. But keep in mind that in this case the cost of calls will increase slightly, since in fact the server makes two calls: one to you, and the second to a friend in Germany to connect you.

Myth 6. VoIP telephony is too complicated! Not at all! Just carefully and clearly follow the instructions on the website of your chosen provider, and after half an hour you are already an expert on low-cost calls.

Myth 7. There are no providers in Russia providing high-quality Internet telephony services. This is an outright lie. We have many providers who offer quality communication services.

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