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Hour 16. Emailing Through the Web, Stopp... > Making Better (but Not Free) Interne...

Making Better (but Not Free) Internet Phone Calls

Internet conferencing gives you the effect of a long-distance phone call (or even a video-phone call) for no extra cost atop whatever you already pay for Internet access (see Hour 17, "Voice and Video Conferencing"). The only problem is that both you and your conversation partner must have computers and Internet accounts, and often even the same conferencing program. Wouldn't it be better if you could use your computer and Internet connection to call any telephone, anywhere in the world?

Well, you can—except it's not free. Services are now coming online that connect your computer to any phone, anywhere, for a per-minute charge like any other long-distance carrier. You talk through your computer's sound card (talking into a connected microphone, listening through your PC speakers or headphones), and the person on the other end uses the phone as usual.


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