Using the Internet to make calls is becoming more and more popular, mainly because it’s cheap(er). You can use a VoIP (Voice over IP) phone or you can call via your PC simply by adding a headset with a microphone. The most popular companies offering this service are probably Skype and Windows Live Messenger, but are they best in the market?
There’s a lot of good reasons to choose Skype or MSN (or both) as they’ve proven reliable and continue to develop the quality and features within the product. This again makes it even harder for competitors to gain market shares. BUT just 6 months ago I stumbled across another company offering a similar service to Skype, namely VoipStunt.
The reason I went looking was merely to see if there was other companies on the net that would allow me to make “PC to Phone” calls cheaper than Skype or through a regular phone. As I’m currently living in Spain and most of my family and old friends are still living in Norway, you can imagine what the phone bill would look like if we were using normal landlines all the time.
Even though Skype is free as long as you make “PC to PC” calls, they will still charge you something to call “out” to a regular phone or mobile. This is where VoipStunt really made the difference as they charge you much less, and sometimes nothing (YES – NOTHING) for the same calls. By using a “Direct Callback Nr” you can even make the calls from your own landline without increasing the costs.
Additional features like SMS and Chat are also available, and the contact list is easily maintained. Overall I would say that the software is as user-friendly as Skype, and as a bonus you make cheaper calls. You can even see how much you save during a conversation as the Skype and VoipStunt rates are shown next to each other.
Summary: Skype versus VoipStunt
- Sound quality equal, both depending on your connection speed
- Equally user-friendly and intuitive, Skype v.3 looks prettier though
- Both rather easy on system resources
- Skype may have more features, but for people just looking for cheap calls not really necessary
- VoipStunt a lot cheaper and sometimes even free
Conclusion: Skype versus VoipStunt
VoipStunt suited my needs perfectly, and after 6 months use I’m still very happy with the service. Therefore my personal choice is VoipStunt over Skype.
Just recently added some more credits to my account and “voila” 120 more freedays was added instantly! This just proves my point that this company delivers a much cheaper and equally good service. VoipStunt’s administration panel also provides you with a lot of neat features as a phone log and the option of automatically refill your account with a fixed amount should you be running low on credit. In general it appears like the company is actually trying to provide as many useful functions as possible to its users which is the great advantage when signing up with the “underdog”. Updates are frequent and doesn’t require any efforts at all, they just appear automagically…
To be honest I’m also a bit dissatisfied with Skype 3 as I didn’t think they’ve added any new useful functions, just more ways for them to make money. The “live conversations” thing doesn’t appeal to me at all, but if you have nobody to call and nothing better to do it might just be what you were waiting for?!
7 Comments on “The Skype alternative”
Thank you for the tip.
Great service – and free too – even better than skype.
I’m looking at getting a small bunch of guys (i.e. 25) set up with some VoIP action so they can call normal phone lines – not necessarily the VoIP-to-VoIP Skype type thing. I’ve seen tons of software since ’98 that can do straight-up bidirectional voice over IP, but what about calling normal phones? Is there any other service that competes well with Skype?
VoipStunt as mentioned in the post is reliable and cheaper than Skype – have used it myself for more than a year with no problems. You can call anywhere to anyone – and even make calls from your own landline activated through the PC…
I’m convinced you’ll be amazed …
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Thanks for your tip on Skype’s competitor. I will check it out.
I am a Skype customer but dissatified with their service. It is so hard to find a way to communicate with customer service. At one time I got overcharged by them and they said they would reverse the charge. But the reversal never came through and everytime I tried to get them to do what they originally promised, they claim that they did not put a charge through. It is like talking to a blank wall.
Terrible customer service!!! I think Skype has grown too big and bureaucratic. It is time to help a newcomer make Skype obsolete.
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