Back in June last year, I changed over to using Voice over Internet Protocol phone (VoIP) for all of my calls. This has worked really well and has allowed several free international calls. This was due to the way that the VoIPCheap account works. When you add credit to your account, it allows 300 minutes of free calls a week to certain countries for the next 120 days after the credit is added. Calls to UK landlines used to be free also, but soon became 1p per minute. After the 120 ‘Freedays’ are over there is a minimal charge per minute.
Anyway, I was checking my account balance yesterday and realised that I was nearly out, so I added more credit. I should have checked their tarrifs first as most of the rates have gone up. For example a UK landline call is now 1.5p per minute; this is however cheaper than my land line provider, VirginMedia, who charge 3p per minute plus a 6p connection charge. I checked the tarrifs for the other VoIP accounts that I have, VoipTalk and SipGate and found that for UK calls, Sipgate works out best for me. I have added credit to this account and changed the dial plan on my Linksys SPA-3000 adapter to use Sipgate for all UK calls and VoipCheap for all international calls.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an unexpected premium rate call on my land line bill. As I use Sipura 3000 System Tray Monitor to monitor the phone adapter, I was able to confirm that we had not made the call and get a refund.
After 9 months of using VoIP for all my calls from home I am very pleased with the results. I also get the benefit, when I add credit, of the free international calls. If you are reading Lyall, I’ll try to call you next weekend.