A real skype competitor ?
I tried the free trial, and the speech quality landline-IP-landline heer in France was better than skype's
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- This week: Quick & Easy Free Internet Calls Adios, Skype. I'm using Jajah to make free long-distance calls over the Internet using my old-fashioned landline and trusty old phone. That's right: no headset or mike, no software, and definitely no hassle. And I'm loving it.
A Quick How-To
Here's the quick and dirty:
- Register with Jajah. It's free and all you do is give them the number for any of your landlines and, if you want, your cell phone. Get the details here:
- Any time you want to make a call, open your browser, go to Jajah's home page, and log in. Fill out the "My Friend's Phone Number" section and click the aptly named Call button.
- Your landline phone rings. Pick it up and you'll hear Jajah announce that it's calling your buddy's number, then you're connected.
- Talk. If your buddy is registered with Jajah, it's a free call; otherwise, it's 2.5 cents per minute in U.S. and Canada. International calls are slightly more expensive. Here are the details:
- Try it: Before you register, the first 5 minutes are free. Even after registering, you can use Jajah without paying: You start off with a credit of .
- There's no contract or fee--just pay for the calls you make.
- There's no muss, fuss, or hassle because there's nothing to download or install. You don't need a headset, a microphone, or any extra equipment.
- You can use smart Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Firefox plug-ins to call right from those apps.
Here's the Outlook plug-in:
And here's one for Firefox:
Dig This: Maybe you've heard of a "summer halo." How about a "fire rainbow" or a "circumhorizon arc"? You need to brush up on your science. Here's a site with a gorgeous picture and a good explanation [thanks to Steven H.]:
If you think that's a doctored image, you're wrong. And the Urban Legends site provides the proof:
Why I Love Jajah
I think this is just the coolest way there is to make long-distance calls. About the only disadvantage is that you need access to a PC and Web browser to make the call. When I'm traveling, I use my cell phone and notebook from, say, the hotel room or a wireless connection at the airport. (I know what you're thinking: What about an unlimited calling plan for my cell phone? Jajah is perfect for me because I'm so cheap, I still pay by the minute.)
If you want to get fancy (and I know you do), you can schedule calls in advance:
I recently mentioned Jajah to Gavin B., a reader from Toronto. Here's what he said: "I'm in Canada (not a complaint, just a fact) and my daughter lives in Australia. I can talk to her for 2 1/2 cents US per minute--over four hours for $7 US! Astounding! Just last week I was paying roughly 10 cents per minute; thirty years ago I paid $7 US per minute to call Australia."
Dig This: Think of a number, any number. Magic Gopher will indirectly guess what it is. Unbelievable. [Thanks, Joe D.]?
And if you don't like Magic Gopher's attitude, try the MilaDesign version. [Thanks, David B.]
Don't spoil it for me by explaining how it's done, okay?
More About VoIP
I'm probably the last person at PC World to have discovered how to make free calls using Jajah. Here are two articles to read for more details about Jajah.
"Jajah Announces Free Telephone Service":
"Jajah Enables Instant VoIP":
There are other VoIP options, though. I know you've heard about Skype. I've been using it about a year now; read "Tips for Gabbing on the Net":
For even more on Skype, read Jim Martin's "VoIP Alternatives":
But did you know that AOL's also got a VoIP service? It does, and Net phone maven Aoife McEvoy reviewed it, along with Skype's recent update:
Check out PC World's Info Center for more on Internet telephony and VoIP in general:
Dig This: The sand falls. You redirect, fiddle, move, block, and modify its consistency. If you spend less than an hour on this site, you probably have a big deadline looming.
BTW, if that doesn't work for you, try this link:
If you get bored, try the Hell of Sand. The little characters are amusing, though they don't seem very happy--neither would you if sand kept falling on your head.
BTW, if you're feeling lame, you can get instructions from Wikipedia:
Write, Don't Call
I know you're itching to try Jajah by calling me. No problem. My direct line is... Ahahaha, you think I'm crazy? How about calling a long-lost relative or maybe your ex-spouse instead. While you're blabbing, mention my newsletter and slowly spell out the URL below. Better yet, just e-mail them the link--it's a lot quicker:
Steve Bass writes the "Hassle-Free PC" column in PC World's print edition and is the author of "PC Annoyances, 2nd Edition: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Your Personal Computer," available from O'Reilly:
If he's not on the phone using Jajah, he's checking e-mail. Send him a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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