Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one of the best options to use for international calling. Compared to calls made on traditional copper wires and cell phone networks, VoIP calls are just a fraction of the cost. If configured correctly, international VoIP calls for a few numbers can also be free. This technology uses your internet connection to make calls. One of the advantages of this system is that you can set it up in such a way that calls made to your number will be charged as local calls for whoever is calling you, even if you are in another country.

One of the best ways to make VoIP calls for the casual user is by using Skype. Creating an account on Skype with a phone number tagged to it allows you to use Skype’s proprietary system to even call landlines and other cell phones across the globe. You can activate this service by purchasing calling minutes on Skype for a particular location.

You can make VoIP calls using Session Internet Protocol (SIP) which is a technology used in commercial VoIP apps. One of the advantages of using SIP is that it gives you a free incoming number. Here’s a short guide on how you go about configuring SIP on your computer.

  1. The first step is to create an account with a SIP trunking provider. There are a number of providers out there, choose one that offers the amount of bandwidth that you need as this will affect the quality of service that you receive. Mot SIP trunking providers will require you to register by filling out a web form.
  2. Make a note of the SIP account number that you receive after registration is successful.
  3. Go back to your service provider’s website and read the installation instructions to get the proxy, ports, server and other settings. Some services have a separate proxy server and domain, while others only have a domain for you to connect to.
  4. The next thing that you need to do is to download and install a SIP client. This SIP client usually comes with a dialer that has all the usual functions of a telephone including features like recording your calls, setting up voicemail and in some cases caller ID too. There are plenty of free options available online. You will need to configure the client by entering the settings that you have downloaded from the SIP trunking provider. Remember to keep all the settings identical. You will then have to provide your SIP account number and password.
  5. Once you have all this set up, test the outgoing facility by calling a number. See if you are satisfied with the quality of the call. Make sure that your incoming number is functioning by testing it from a regular telephone and also a cell phone. After this, purchase the minutes on a plan that will be adequate for your usage and suitable for the country that you are calling.

Another option that you can make use of is configuring the same account to an Android enabled smartphone using clients such as Sipdroid. Take a look at this to extend the functionality of you VoIP phone service.