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Monday, January 28, 2008

5 SIP Softphones you must download

SIP is now a standard protocol for almost every VOIP Provider. Most of the VOIP service providers are now sharing their SIP settings in public. This trend is inceasing. VOIP providers do not mind if you use a third party SIP softphone, ATA or VOIP adapter to connect to their service as long as you use their service and make some money for them. after its a business proposition.

Slowly even non-SIP settings VOIP providers will open up as more and more people get educated about SIP and VOIP. The kind of flexibility SIP gives you will definately change the trend sooner or later.

Now We have already seen how to configure SIP on SIP softphone.

Today, we will be looking at some must-have SIP softphones. Of course, you won't be using all them. Still these SIP softphones are handy and kind of fun to play around with. Every softphone has some unique functionality to improve your VOIP experience.

1)X-lite: Perhaps the most popular SIP/VOIP/IAX softphone in the world. It has all the features you need in a perfect SIP softphone however lacks on number of SIP service you can run at once. You can only use one SIP account at a time.

2) EyeBeam: Another great product from Counterpath, the same company that gave you X-lite. Eyebeam is a upgraded version of X-lite. Gives you more flexibility which lacks in X-lite such as using multiple SIP accounts at once. However It's a paid product.

Tip to get Eyebeam for FREE: Owtalk offers a free eyebeam softphone. However it's restricted to use as Owtalk service only. See if you can crack it :-)

3) Ekiga: Formely known as GnomeMeeting, is an open source VoIP and video conferencing application for GNOME. Ekiga uses both the H.323 and SIP protocols. It supports audio and video codecs, and is interoperable with other SIP compliant software and also with Microsoft NetMeeting. Ekiga also offers their very own SIP service and you can get yourself a SIP account under address (AT)

The best feature of ekiga, open source and allows Simultaneously Register to Several Accounts. It also supports DTMF and ENOM.

4) YATE : YATE (Yet Another Telephony Engine) is a next-generation telephony engine. YATE can be used as a VOIP server as well as VOIP client and has some great advanced features such as Call center server, IVR engine, Prepaid and/or postpaid cards system Jingle server, PC2Phone and Phone2PC gateway, VoIP to PSTN gateway. YATE is highly recommended for professional VOIP users to get more out of VOIP systems.

5) Twinkle: This might not be extremely popular however we found this to be good old simple SIP softphone that newbies can play with. Twinkle is a softphone for your voice over IP and instant messaging communcations using the SIP protocol. It allows upto 2 simulateneous lines. It uses Secure voice communication by ZRTP/SRTP and MD5 digest authentication support for all SIP requests. Twinkle is definately worth exploring for its unique security features.

We will try to cover PBX softwares in our next article. If you have a PBX system and want us to consider you in the list, Please drop us an email ( with feature list of your PBX system.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gizmo Project offering India Free Calls ?

It's been some time since we found something really good and FREE for India calls. Today, we are going to discuss about Gizmo Project. Back to back news on Gizmo guys

Gizmo Project is a popular VOIP service which offers 20 FREE minutes every week under its ALL FREE CALLS plan to over 30 countries.

Our regular reader, Hardeep Singh has shared with us that Gizmo Project is now offering free calls to india. Now we did some investigation however got 2 contradicting evidences on this change.

Hardeep found that India is included in the list of countries under the Free Calling plan. You can check the list here. This list indeed has India on its list, which should confirm that Gizmo Project offers free calls to india.

However, take a look at their page on "All free calls plan". It doesn't have India on their list. We were not able to test the actual softphone to check whether India is included under the free calling plan or not.

In order to test if India is included, You need to follow this guide.

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what's cooking at Gizmo?
Yeah and if you don't have Gizmo Project, it might be a good idea to download their latest built. You can use Gizmo on your PC, Mobile as Mobile VOIP or configure your Gizmo settings on your favorite VOIP ATA or SIP Phone.

Edit: It's funny that till yesterday that page had India on the list. It suddenly disappeared from the list :-) To confirm that India was included on the list, I looked at Google cache of the page. Check the proof yourself.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gizmo5 offers Free calls via Backdoor Dialing method

It seems people are now inspired by Free VoIP Hacks :-)There were times, when we used to be the only people finding some great hacks to make free calls around the globe. It seems now even mainstream commercial companies are participating and finding new loopholes to make free calls.

A leading VOIP firm, SIPPhone (guys behind Gizmo Project) have started offering a grey root method (they call it backdoor dialing) to make free calls to USA.

According to Gizmo5, SIPPhone's mobile VOIP service, Approximately 11% of US telephones, including mobile numbers and land lines from carriers such as Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc., are connected via VoIP. Working with telecom partners we are now making it possible to dial these numbers without going through the traditional phone system.

However since its just 11% of the USA lines, you can't possibly call all USA phone lines for FREE. They built a FREE Phone finder which will tell you if the target number can be dialed for free or not.

They are basically bypassing the PSTN routes to save on termination cost. Its a great thinking and I wish they could extend this to internation destionations and not just USA. USA is given away FREE by any tom dick and harry these days.

How do you make calls using Backdoor Dialing?

Using Gizmo5 software on any Mac/Win/Lin computer simply dial the prefix 0101 and then the desired telephone number. For example, 0101 858-555-1212

Alternatively, You can download Gizmo 5 for Mobile and make calls. Of course, you need to connect to Gizmo 5 via Wifi, 3G or GPRS. You can also set it up on ATA or SIP Phone.

Lets hope this last long. This is probably the second time, I liked Gizmo. The first time when I hacked into original GizmoCall program and converted 5 mins call into 40 minutes per day. Alas they fixed it later. Now I kinda like them, ain't they now officially ethical backdoor hackers?

I can't imagine how traditional telecom companies would be responding to this but I can guess they won't be throwin in a party soon.

Did I hear Pat Phelan singing, "Die AT&T die?" :-)

Free Web Conference Solutions

In 2008, We might see more revolution in conferencing space than what we have seen in last couple of years, for 2 reasons. More companies trying to get into this space and more businesses exploring it as a viable solution to cut down cost in the wake of US recession.

There have been some leaders in Web conferencing solutions, mainly speaking WebEx.WebEx gives a Free trial and its a must try. However lately, we have seen some strong competition coming up in the Free Conference Calling space.

One such open source web conferencing solution is 1videoConference (a.k.a VMukti). So how is it different from other conferencing solution in the market? VMukti is totally FREE. It allows its Web, Audio/ Video phone, Skype, Msn and Yahoo users to instantly participate in live web conferences without the need for lengthy downloads or complicated installations. You don't need to download anything in order to use VMukti conference solution. It's like once you are connected, you can show presentations, share applications or users' desktops, hold live webinars, discuss new strategies face to face with business partners. Above all it's FREE unlike other paid solutions in the market. However It's probably FREE only for limited time, I can see that they are eyeing Enterprise market to buy a commercial license to use this product. Those details ain't out yet since its limited beta.

Lets quickly Look at what Conferencing Features does VMukti allows:

1) Audio and Video Conferencing: Low latency, multi-party video and audio sharing brings back the intimacy of a meeting.
2) Presentation and Document Sharing: Share your ideas on a presentation or help your partner edit a document in real time collaboration.
3) Chat: Not a featured speaker but still want to get your ideas heard? Do this with the multi-user Instant Messaging feature.
4) Allows audio/ video phone, MSN and Skype users to participate in the same conference. Of course use VOIP at large.

If you know any other Free Conferencing Solution, do not hesitate to let us know. We will try to review the products/service in future.

Vyke VOIP offers Free VOIP Calls

There are bunch of VOIP providers out there who are providing free calls to certain destinations but it's always good to find a few more as backups. You never know when your favorite VOIP provider stops giving away Free calls or just disappears overnight :-)

In our growing hunger to find new Free VOIP providers, we found Vyke (Thanks to Sriram for pointing that out). At first Look, Vyke looked great to me. It's simple no frills VOIP service.

They offer almost everything under the sun, you name it VOIP Service, IP VOIP service (SIP based), Mobile VOIP & Free Calling to most european destinations. The best of all, a Vyke Callback service which is simply great. It really deserves a seperate post, which i would eventually post.

Vyke also gives you $1 of Credit to test their service.

Lets see how you can use Vyke.

1) Go to Vyke and Register
2) They will ask you to verify your phone number. Enter your number and wait for their SMS.
3) Enter code received in SMS in Vyke account and you are verified. They instantly add $1 credit to your account.

Now Let's look at their individual services.

1) Vyke Mobile VOIP
Vyke offers a good setup for Mobile VOIP, You can either setup Vyke manually using their SIP settings (given Below) or your their online guide to set it up. It basically sends a message to your phone, you need to follow the link and setup Vyke on Mobile. Of course, you can also setup Vyke on Fring, if you want to. Just use the following SIP settings.

Vyke SIP Settings:
Display name: Your Username
SIP/IAX Username: Your Username
SIP/IAX Password: ***** (Same as your vyke password if confirmed)
SIP server:
IAX Server:
Port: 5060
RTP port: 5090
DTMF: RFC 2833
Proxy settings: Same as SIP server
Register server: Leave blank
Supported codecs: G.729, G.711 (ulaw), gsm

Of course for Mobile, you need to setup Internet Telephony Service besides the SIP settings. If anyone is confused, I will write a seperate generic guide on Mobile VOIP Setup.

2) Vyke PC Phone: The most basic functionality by any VOIP provider. you can download their softphone

3) Vyke Call back: A really innovative way to make free VOIP Calls. You first need to register your number and then you need to dial, Vyke Callback number (i.e. +4918059908850 or +442071542887), as soon as you hear the busy tone, hang up! Within 10 seconds, the Vyke service will call you back and when you answer you will hear the dial tone. Enter the number you wish to call and you will be connected.

4) Vyke Web Calling: Vyke also offers Web calling, which will give you a flexibility of Phone to Phone Calling. Enter your number and your friend's number and click call. You can also delay calls if you want to. Another good feature.

Vyke apparently offering free voip calls to european destinations and US and Canada. However they charge 4 cents setup fee. We couldn't figure out if it was one time fee or a per call fee. If the call is unlimited, then 4 cent fee shouldn't be a big issue. If anyone manage to test this, Please report.

Overall Vyke has potential become a leading VOIP provider if they manage to crack this overcrowded market. With Free calling offers pressure cutting your bottomline, it's difficult for VOIP provider to continue to provide Free calls.

Please report your experience with Vyke.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cheap Calls to India by MediaRingTalk

We have been discussing various wasy to call India either free or cheap way to make calls to india. There are many people who either love or hate betamax. Honestly, Betamax gives us the best rate however we often misunderstand their billing rates.

When Betamax says 1.5 eurocents, Its not 1.5 USD cents it's more than that. Unless Betamax clearly tells you the rate and of course, we can't forget their good old strategy to increase calling rates while you sleep in pyjamas.

That leaves you with little choice to make cheap calls to India. We recently noted that Tringme now offers 5 cents to India (Mumbai & Bangalore). Now Mediaringtalk offers 5 cents to India (All landline + Mobiles).

This is seriously a good calling rate to call any indian mobile or landline number at flat 5 cents per minute. If you know anyone else giving a cheaper rate than 5 cents per minute to India (except betamax), Please let us know.

Of course, we know one good offer by Pennytel which will expire on 31st January. They are offering 28 cents per call (not per minute), so you talk for 6 mins you already cover the price of a 5 cents call. You can even beat betamax rates if you talk for over 30 mins or so.

Mediaringtalk also offers free calls to many destinations such as UK, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore,Canada,Australia etc. Mostly Landlines and mobiles in some countries are included.
So enjoy some cheap calling to India. Lets hope it lasts long. We will write a seperate comparison matrix for Calling India and Pakistan, so you can decide which VOIP Provider to choose while calling these countries.

Google may Acuire Skype

Internet search giant, Google Inc., may be poised to acquire the world’s leading online VoIP service, Skype, according to speculation in the blogsphere this week.

The rumours originated with the UK’s well-respected Guardian newspaper on Monday, and have been reverberating through investment firms and the blogsphere all week. No solid basis has been provided for the speculation, but there are logical reasons for Google to consider acquiring, or at least forming a partnership with Skype, which is currently owned by online auction leader, eBay.

“Currently in favor around London’s webbist community is the rumor that Google has been in negotiations to buy Skype,” wrote Jemima Kiss, a blogger with the Guardian. “Google bases all of its mobile projects in London, so this is the fitting place for such a rumor.”

It’s true that Google and Skype have been moving in a similar direction in recent months; for example, partnering with several other companies to fund Fon, a Spanish startup attempting to build a worldwide network of shared Wi-Fi hotspots.

Skype and Google also have some shared interests with regard to an upcoming 700-MHz airwaves auction in the U.S., where both companies have pressured regulators to make existing wireless carriers “open up” their networks.

A Google acquisition of Skype “makes sense on a number of levels, particularly because it fits with Google’s ambitions for disrupting the mobile industry through its new open mobile phone development platform Android,” Kiss wrote, noting that a such a deal might also be attractive to eBay, “which was recently forced to admit that it had paid too much for Skype.”

When asked to comment on the speculation, however, Skype itself remained silent, insisting that it does not respond to rumours.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

mig33 goes prepaid

mig33 is one of those stories that we in North America don’t follow that closely. Now with over 69 million users, they are a rapidly growing mobile social network, with voice, IM and chatrooms as well. It’s a pretty full featured mobile community, but with it’s South Asian and Australian roots, it flies under the radar here.

Two days ago mig33 announced that they had struck a deal with Lutiek a large South African distributor, to provide prepaid services in that country. The press release said:

"With this deal mig33 is now a viable option for prepaid card vendors looking for a differentiated product to add to their distribution channel, opening access to mig33’s loyal base of repeat buyers to them for the first time. Unlike traditional prepaid phone cards which just offer voice calls, mig33’s prepaid offers users to access a mix of free and inexpensive services like VoIP calls, instant messaging, text messaging, social networking and community features, allowing users to apply their prepaid value to a variety of services beyond international voice."

Intrigued, I asked Erica Jostedt at Sutherland Gold (mig33’s PR agency) a few more questions. CEO Steven Goh replied…

AS: Is this the company’s first foray in prepaid?

SG: This is the first significant foray. We’ve got users who’ve established prepaid channels on our behalf in several other countries. The size of our userbase in South Africa (2m ~ 8% coverage of the population of South Africa) is significant. (AS: and as a percentage of Mig33’s overall userbase, South Africa is hugely significant!)

AS: Why South Africa only? Prepaid’s a huge business in North America

SG: South Africa will be the first of many countries. We’re starting there because of the size of the userbase, logistics, etc. The reality of payments in most countries is that legitimate credit card usage is concentrated to a few countries only. We are not going into prepaid to the last store ourselves, we’re a platform with a unique differentiated product and services for existing prepaid channels, and we’re out looking for distribution partners.

AS: Who are Lutiek, and why did Mig33 pick them?

SG: Lutiek is one of many distribution options that we have in the country and they’re of a size to make a meaningful partnership. They’ve historically been in physical prepaid (distributing starter packs and other prepaid goods to retail in that country).
AS: What are the prepaid services being offered? Is it just VoIP calling? I thought your other services were already free, so I guess I am betraying my ignorance here.

SG: Users can watch for other users coming online, buzz users, and engage in premium chatroom activities. In the near future, users will also be able to buy exclusive mobile content and a range of others services. A parallel to what’s in store is facebooks’ gifts, and items in tencent QQ’s virtual goods’ economy.

Very interesting model and probably the best way to approach Mig33’s youthful demographic.

Earthcaller launches international calling service

We enjoyed Earthcaller's FREE VOIP calls service to USA for over 6 months now. It has been really the only unlimited free calls service for USA. Now it seems they are out of beta and have formally launched a International calls service under the same brand name, Earthcaller.

We would like to thank Satphoneguy at Tipsity, who found this out and made a post about Earthcaller being paid service.

However USA calls are still free and unrestricted. You need to pay for calls to other international countries. As satphoneguy observed, They have some really great rates for some european destinations such as UK Mobile for about 11 cents per minute, which is cheaper than some other VOIP providers. However their India rate is around 6.5-6.8 cents per minute which can be higher compared to Tringme's rate of 5 cents per minute.

So if you are ready to explore another VOIP provider, you may give Earthcaller a try. One thing we can assure is, It's powered by Jaduka and in past, we have seen excellent voice quality with Jaduka VOIP service. We hope they provide similar voice quality for Earthcaller. You can buy credits in bulk of $5 & $10.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lingo VOIP Phone service review

Are you looking for that perfect Residential Home VOIP Phone line? In our VOIP Phone reviews series, today we are discussing one of the award winning VOIP services.

We discussed about Joiphone a few months back. Our Joiphone review was so popular that it received more than 80,000 page views within 2 months. We received positive and negative feedback of the service. People were already asking for more VOIP service reviews to better compare and signup for that best home phone service.

Today we will be discussing an award winning VOIP service called Lingo. Lingo has quickly emerged as a top Internet phone service in a market projected to grow to 16.5 million U.S. consumers by 2008 (Source: Frost & Sullivan) and its run by Virginia-based Primus Telecommunications Group who handle over 2 billion VOIP minutes annually.

Now lets analyse What Lingo Offers their customers.

Lingo VOIP Plans:

As you can see Lingo Phone is currently running a exclusive promotion which will give you 3 months of Free Lingo service. This is valid only on Lingo Chatter Box plan, which costs about $21.95 per month and gives unlimited calls to over 20 odd countries (US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, Vatican City, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, & South Korea)

All Lingo service plans consist of the following Features:

Besides the standard VOIP Phone features, you will also get,

1) FREE unlimited calling to other In-Network Lingo subscribers
2) Local Number Portability so you can keep your existing phone number
3) Lingo Phone Adapter/ Lingo Router (Linksys Adapter given away to you for FREE)

They also have a great yearly Lingo Plan called Talk 365 which will give you unlimited calls to US, Canada and Puerto Rico for $195/- year.

When we wrote JoiPhone reviews, people asked us to do more research on TOS of VOIP Providers. So we did it this time, Lingo's fair usage policy says, You can make about 5000 minutes of calls every month without a hitch, If you limit exceeds they might terminate your service with a valid reason.

Lingo also offers hassle free 30 days money back guarantee, if ever you are not satisfied with their service.

Now being a reader of Free VoIP Hacks, you need to get some special discounts. We are throwing in 3 months of FREE Lingo Service for you. Remember to enter Lingo Coupon Code: SAPEXC on Order page.

icallfree offers Free VOIP Calls

It's been a long time since we discussed about FREE VOIP calls. Seriously, no free calls provider found for one full week must be something strange :-) However we finally found one. This VOIP provider should allow you to make calls to over 20 odd countries.

While lurking around the internet to search for that next FREE VOIP calls provider, we stumbled across icallfree. A totally free calling service very similar to Click2call. Its absolutely identical, besides the fact that icallfree provides free calls to some countries not covered by click2call.

icallfree currently offers free calls to over 20 countries. Some of the read odd ones areMalaysia, Colombia, Thailand etc which typically never make it to the Free Calling Country list.

The only catch however is you can only make free calls for 5 mins per call with a restriction of 3 calls in a day.

Now a possible hack: If you have dynamic IP, you can refresh your IP each time you complete your call limit of 15 minutes per day. With a new IP address, you can make calls all over again.

Since you guys would be using this extensively, we have grabbed the Dialer Code so you can make calls from our blog itself.

USE the Following Dialer to Make Free Calls

How to Call:

1) Select your Country and Enter your number In Area Code+ Phone number format
2) Now Select destination Country and Enter Area Code+ Phone number
3) Click Call
4) Your phone rings, pick up and wait some seconds
5) Call with be connected with the destination number.

You can come back to this post and make calls everyday.

1 hour of Free Calls to India

Just when you thought Free Calls to India offers are almost over. We got some great tip from one of our visitor. Thanks to Nabeel for sharing with us a great way to make 1 hrs or even more free calls to india if you know how to crack it properly.

Who's giving away this Offer? It's Rebtel. Don't rush to their site, its not on there :-) Its a secret offer in lieu of completing a survey about Rebtel Services.

Once you complete the survey, they will issue you a code, which you need to apply in account and get free credits to call india totally free.

Lets see how you can do this.

1) Go take the survey

2) Did you get the code saying, Now you can make an hour of free Rebtel calls to India! How? Use this personal voucher code: 02630459928759XXXX. Just copy the code. Don't miss the code guys.

3) Now to go Rebtel
4) click Add Credit
5) enter voucher code, click redeem

Now make free calls to India. Nabeel also reported that if you have multiple accounts, the same code should work good :-). So what are you waiting for Make Free Calls to India