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November 3, 2006

Free phone calls with Skype using your regular phone!

Lately, it seems that there’s a new VOIP service coming out every other day.

Earlier this year, Skype announced that, at least until the end of this year, anyone could make free SkypeOut calls to regular phones in the U.S. and Canada. This was very exciting and finally convinced me to buy a headset for my computer so that I could use Skype. I’ve tried to pass this tip along to many of my friends and family, but have found that most of them can’t take advantage of it because they don’t have a microphone for their computer.

Just the other day I found out about another VOIP service called JaJah. They describe themselves as “web-activated telephony”. From their website, you can enter in your home phone number and the number of the person you wish to call. Their system then rings both phones and initiates a conversation between the two of you. And what’s more, it’s free—as long as both you and the person you’re calling are regular JaJah users and you’re both in each other’s contact books. On top of that, they also require that you don’t exceed their “fair-use” policy. That’s great and all, but what if you want to make free phone calls without the limitations of JaJah?

Yesterday it occurred to me that you can use Skype to make free “computer-activated” phone calls between two regular phones. This way there aren’t any of the restrictions imposed by JaJah’s service. The secret? Use Skype’s conference calling feature to initiate a conference call between your computer, your home phone, and the phone you wish to call! Your home phone will then ring and you’ll be connected to the person you wish to call.

Posted at 6:40 AM in Technology


1. TheDreaming says:

A very cool hack. I've never been able to get into the voip thing. I used to chat in chatrooms and irc, but then that became uncool when im get really popular. Now it seems silly to chat with someone you know. Everyone I know just calls me on my cell. Telemarketters call my land line and people that I don't even know email me. I guess that's the way of the world now...

Posted on November 3, 2006 at 8:35 AM