How to Use a Computer As a Phone for Free

by Amanda Kondolojy

Although it is undeniable that computers revolutionized the world of mail and written communication, computers and the Internet have also revolutionized the way we communicate through voice. Through Voice over IP (VoIP) technology, there are several free ways to make telephone calls though your computer.

How to Use a Computer as a Phone for Free

Download and install Skype. Skype is a free VoIP program that allows you to call other Skype users from your computer for free. It is generally regarded as the industry standard, and the best free VoIP program currently available (see resources).

Sign up for a Skype name. Launch the Skype program and click on the small blue link at the bottom of the window that says "Sign up for a Skype Name." You will have to enter some personal information, such as your name and e-mail address. Submit the form and log-in to the Skype service.

Add friends to your contact list. Invite friends and family to join the Skype service and then add their Skype names to your contact list by typing it into the top box of the Skype Window under the "Contacts" tab. After a contact has accepted you as a mutual friend, you will be able to call them using the Skype service.

Make a call. Simply highlight the Skype Name of the person you want to call and then press the green "call" button at the bottom of the Skype window. Once the other party accepts the call, you will be able to hold a normal phone conversation. When you want to end the call, simply press the red "end call" button to terminate the connection.

Tip

  • You will need to have a high-speed connection to the Internet (such as DSL or Cable) in order to use any VoIP program. Dial-up connections do not have the necessary bandwidth to support these connections.

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