How to Use a Computer As a Landline Telephoneby Timothy Baron
It used to be that you needed a landline to connect to the Internet by using a dial-up modem. Since then, the situation has done a complete 180, and now you can connect to the Internet without a landline at all. In addition, you can simulate having a landline by using the Internet. You'll need to contract the services of an online phone company, but doing so will give you a steady phone number as well as the ability to make outgoing calls from your computer.
Visit online phone providers such as Skype, Yahoo Voice or Vonage, and compare rates. As of 2010, Vonage has the best options for international calls, while Yahoo is the most affordable.
Sign up with the service of your choosing. The process will require entering financial information, as you will be billed on a monthly basis. You will also get the opportunity to select your new phone number and area code. They might not offer an area code in your area, but you can still use the service with a different area code. This won't cost you anything extra, though it might inhibit callers who want to avoid long-distance bills.
Download and install your online phone service's client. The client is a program that will receive incoming calls and keep an address book of your contacts. When you want to make an outgoing call, you do so from the client. Treat it as your new telephone, and keep it open all the time so that you don't miss a call.
- Old telephone image by Nenad Djedovic from Fotolia.com