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Recommended VoIP Service Providers
VoIP is a way of using the internet to make cheap international telephone calls to any destination worldwide.
Because VoIP service can be very cheap, using a VoIP phone service could dramatically reduce your costs.
If you want a cheap, reliable VoIP internet calling plan for making international calls, we recommend the following VoIP service providers:
Click company names for more information.
These VoIP service providers all have outstanding reputations, cheap prices, and live customer support.
With well over 100 million users worldwide, Skype is probably the best known and most widely used VoIP service in the world. Skype also has the most comprehensive VoIP calling products, features, and options - but Skype's per minute rates for calling India are not the cheapest available - Pingo, FreeCallPlanet, and Lingo, among others, offer cheaper rates.
There are two options for buying paid Skype services. One option is to buy credit and then have call charges deducted as you go. The other option is to buy a monthly plan for roughly US$3 - US$15 per month. Monthly plans provide unlimited calling to certain specified countries. Unfortunately, none of Skype's plans includes unlimited calling to India, so you'll need to buy credits for India calling.
All free and most paid Skype services are available from all countries worldwide. However, certain paid Skype services are available only in selected countries.
A computer with a broadband connection and/or other equipment is generally required.
Note that the Skype website, while colorful and fun, can be confusing.
Jajah is an innovative, next-generation VoIP provider that offers highly flexible VoIP calling products for landline phones, mobile phones, blogs & websites, and more.
To use all of the above services, you put money into your account and make calls against this balance.
Most Jajah services are available from any country worldwide. Jajah.direct has local access numbers in 18 countries, including the US, Australia, Mexico, Israel, and most European countries. There currently is no Jajah.direct local access number for India.
FreeCallPlanet offers monthly VoIP calling plans to India at cheap per minute rates. FreeCallPlanet is designed for people who call India a lot - with plans starting at 250 minutes a month on up to 3,000 mintues.
FreeCallPlanet's VoIP service works like a calling card: you dial into their VoIP network using a toll-free or local access number from your mobile or landline phone. Then you dial your destination number in India. They support PIN-less dialing and speed dial to simplify call dialing. There is no contract and you can cancel at any time without penalties.
FreeCallPlanet has access numbers in the US, UK, or India which allows you to make calls to or from the US, UK, or India using the same account at the same rates. For instance, if you buy the account in the US, your family members or friends in the UK or India can also use your plan to you at the same rates. With FreeCallPlanet, you can call India landlines or mobiles for the same low rate.
Requires US address for billing, but can be used from US, UK, and India to call most countries worldwide.
Lingo was recently voted #1 VoIP provider by Wired Magazine. Like Vonage and similar companies, Lingo provides complete VoIP internet calling service that is designed to replace your existing landline phone service. It is not a short term solution for calling India, but it can be a very cheap long term solution for all your calling needs.
Depending on the plan you select, Lingo service can include unlimited free long distance and international calls from the United States to up to 22 countries. Their South Asia VoIP plan is designed for calling India. This plan has unlimited calling within the United States and Canada as well as very cheap per minute rates to India. Lingo service is available in the US only.
To use the Lingo service, the company provides you with a 'Lingo phone adaptor' that connects your landline telephone to the internet through your broadband internet cable or DSL modem. Once the adaptor is in place, you make calls from your phone as if you were calling over a normal phone connection.
Lingo offers virtual local numbers in 15+ countries worldwide for ~US$10 per month. India virtual local numbers are not available at this time.
Lingo is available in the US and Australia and supports international calling to any country worldwide at low rates.
VoIP Buying Tips
If you have feedback - good or bad - on any of these providers, please add a comment below.
These calling cards get our 'Best Buy' rating.
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