How to Make Online Phone Calls for Free
Telephone calls over the Web are possible via VOIP telephony service. Short for Voice Over IP, the VOIP protocol permits conversations to be transmitted and received over the Web like any other piece of data. Because the data cost is negligible, some companies offer online phone calls for free. Chief among them is iCall, which is covered in this how-to, but some other options are available in the resources section of this article.
Things You'll Need
- Microphone headset (optional if your computer has an on-board microphone)
- iCall software
- Microsoft Windows or Apple OSX operating system
- Active Internet connection
Making Free Calls With iCall
Attach your microphone headset to the computer. These headsets come with two inputs--one that connects to the microphone jack on your computer and the other of which connects to the audio-out or "headphone" jack. If you're unsure where these are located, consult the manual for your computer. If your computer has an onboard microphone, this step is not necessary.
Download the iCall software. A direct link is provided in the Resources section below.
Install the software and register for a free account. There is no need to deposit funds in your account if you plan on making calls to the United States or Canada. However, international calling is only available for a fee.
Open the software and enter the phone number you wish to dial. Be sure if calling in the United States, you add the correct country code (+1 in front of the area code).
Making Free Calls With Evaphone
Go to the Evaphone website. A direct link is provided in the Resources section below.
Wait for the online dialing interface to load and select the country code of the number you wish to dial.
Enter the phone number and press the green dial key.
Wait through the mandatory advertisement for your call to dial. You may be prompted to allow Evaphone access to your computer's microphone. Select "Yes" if you wish to speak on the call.
Making Free Calls With CallingAmerica
Go to the CallingAmerica website. A direct link is provided in the resources section below.
Enter the phone number you wish to dial.
Complete the verification code and view the mandatory advertisement.
Hit the "Press to Call" button and wait for the call to complete. As with Evaphone, you may be prompted to allow CallingAmerica access to your computer's microphone.
Tips & Warnings
- The iCall service has premium plans available that include a Web or a iPhone interface, without the need for a software download.
- An external headset microphone will greatly increase call quality.
- Calls are limited to five minutes in the non-paid version of iCall, at which point you'll be disconnected and have to dial again.
- Voice quality is better on a high-speed Internet connection.
- Registration is necessary for unlimited daily calls on CallingAmerica.
- Neither CallingAmerica nor Evaphone offer software downloads.