[thelist] VoIP questions

Paul Howard paul at corrigenda.org
Tue Dec 14 05:16:04 CST 2004

Alex Beston wrote:
> Hi Guys
> A fellow contractor in town recommended me get a VoIP phone to mitigate 
> the exorbitant startup costs involved in business.
> skype [1] have a USB plug n play phone (looks like a normal phone) that 
> costs £30. before i rush out to get one, what are the differences 
> between this phone regards to phone costs and a normal phone?  
> differences in general? sound quality for instance? what are the 
> downsides of using it? how frequent are cutoffs? is the sound quality of 
> a consistent kind or does it range from good to bad erratically?
> my contact said that there is some sort of central switchboard that you 
> dial into which make the calls to conventional phone lines on my behalf 
> (ie i dont have to run a VoIP server on my machine). ok so thats how it 
> works, but  if i plug this thing in to my computer, does the 
> "switchboard" give me a temporary phone number? how would i go about 
> getting a permanent telephone number? surely someone must be making some 
> money out of this. are BT / AT&T worried? is there a line rental?
> any ideas /  refs welcome..
> [1] http://www.skype.com/  i can read http://www.skype.com/products/ but 
> i was hoping from someone that doesnt work for skype marketing dept - 
> you get my drift...


if you to go www.sipphone.com and sign up for an account (which is free) 
you get a sipphone number with free voicemail etc. Voicemails are 
emailed to you as .wav files.

Then go to http://sipphone.com/siphandset/ and buy one of these. Its a 
phone handestthat plugs into your PC speaker and mic sockets.

Then go to http://sipphone.com/softphone/ and downlooad the sipphone 
software. (also free)

Once you have all that set up and working go to http://www.voipuser.org 
and sign up for a free account. This will allow you to set up 3 virtual 
numbers (0870 and the like) and assign it to your sip number.

That way you have a fixed UK landline number that will ring you whenever 
you are logged onto your PC.

If you need to make calls using this phone then buy some sipminutes from 

Currently its about 2pence per minute to all UK landlines.

You dont have to use sipphone.com - there are many alterative providors 
- some offer better services than others.

Let me know if ytou need more info.


Paul Howard


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