How to Set Up Internet Phone Calls With Yahoo

By Benjamin Aries

Yahoo Messenger allows you to talk to people all over the world.
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Yahoo offers several services for making phone calls using the Internet. If you have the free Yahoo Messenger application, you can talk to other users using a microphone and speakers. You can also make or receive traditional phone calls with the optional Phone In and Phone Out features. These advanced services are not free, but often cost significantly less than normal long distance phone calls.

Computer Calling

You can make computer-to-computer calls using Yahoo Messenger. This application is available for both Windows and Mac, and can be downloaded for free (see Resources.) In addition to this program, you must have a microphone and speakers. Many computers already have these built in.

Once you have installed the Messenger application and created a Yahoo user account, you can call anybody who also has Yahoo Messenger. If the other user is online, a quick click of the "Call" button will connect you. Yahoo allows you to leave a voice mail if the user is not online, or does not answer.

Traditional Calling

In addition to calling a computer, you can also call a landline or cellphone using Yahoo Messenger. This feature is known as Yahoo Phone Out. While computer-to-computer calls are free, Yahoo charges a small fee when you call a phone. The exact rate varies, depending on the location of the person you call.

In order to call a phone using Yahoo, you must fund your account. You can choose to add either $10 or $25 to your account from the "Y! Voice" menu on Messenger (see Resources).

Call Forwarding

Yahoo enables you to forward incoming calls from Messenger to your home, work or cellphone. This means that you can receive calls even if you are logged out of Yahoo Messenger. To use this feature, you need a Phone Out account. You can set up this service through the "Y! Voice" button on Messenger, and choosing call forwarding.

A fee for forwarded calls is charged from your Phone Out balance at the standard rate. For instance, if a ten minute call is forwarded from Messenger to your cellphone, your pre-paid balance is charged for those minutes.

Local Number

You can use the Yahoo Phone In feature to create a local number for incoming calls. Your friends and contacts can call this number in order to connect with you via Messenger.

Unlike a traditional number, you can create your Phone In number for any area code in the United States. For example, if you have family in Los Angeles but you live in New York, you can set up Phone In with a California area code. Your contacts can then call a number that is local for them, and talk to you through Messenger. You can setup this feature through the "Y! Voice" button on Messenger.