How Do I Make Free Internet Phone Calls Using My PC?

By David Weedmark

You can make phone calls from any computer using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology to call computers and telephones anywhere in the world. Calling from computer to computer is free with services like Skype and Google Voice. As of the date of publication, calling telephone numbers in the U.S. and Canada from your computer is free with Google Voice if you live in the United States. Skype charges a small fee for calling domestic telephones. For both services, calling international telephones is not free, but the charges are modest compared to most telephone long-distance charges.

Things You'll Need

  • High speed Internet connection
  • Speakers
  • Microphone
  • Web cam (optional)

Using Google Voice

Step 1

Create a Gmail account by clicking the "Gmail" link on the Google search page. Then click the "Create an Account" link on the right of the page. If you already have a Gmail account, skip to Step 3.

Step 2

Enter your name, a desired login name and a password in the fields provided. Follow the instructions on the page and read the "Terms of Service." Then click "I accept. Create my account."

Step 3

Login to Gmail. Then click the link to "Get Google Voice." The screen will present you with two options. Click "Set up your phone" to connect Google Voice to your mobile phone. Click "Choose a number" to get a new phone number from Google. You can make free Internet phone calls from your PC with either option. Follow the instructions to set up your service as you wish.

Step 4

Go to your Gmail page. Click the "Call phone" link in the lower left area of the page. If you do not see this option, click the "+" sign beside your name to reveal the link. A telephone keypad will open in a pop-up window on the right of the page. Dial any number in the United States to make a free call.

Step 5

Call anyone in your contact list by video or phone by clicking the appropriate username. A pop-up window will open. Click the telephone icon to call them on their computer. Click the video camera to call them with video if you both have cameras on your computers.

Using Skype

Step 1

Download the free Skype application to your computer. Then double-click the application icon to install it and follow the instructions in the installation wizard. Skype will connect to your microphone, speakers and video camera.

Step 2

Type the name of a friend who uses Skype in the search field at the top of the window. Then click the "Search for Skype Name" button. You will be presented with a list of matching names, including their locations. Select the person you want and click "Add Contact."

Step 3

Click the "Back to Contacts" button. The person's name will be noted with a question mark until she accepts you as a contact. After that, the question mark will be a green check mark when she's online. When a contact is offline, or has selected to be invisible, the icon will be a gray "X." You can try to call regardless of what the status icon indicated.

Step 4

Click the person's name. Click the telephone icon. A new window will open and the telephone will begin ringing. If the person is logged into Skype and chooses to accept your call, the call will begin immediately.

Step 5

Click the video camera icon to activate your video. Your friend will also have to click his video camera icon for his video image to be visible to you.