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What do I need to start using VoIP?


 
To get FREE VoIP calls you will need the following equipment;

Computer with soundcard
Internet connection
VoIP communications application such as Skype
Headset or USB phone
Someone to ring J

Computer requirements

If your computer is no more than about 4 years old then you should be ok. Ideally you will need a minimum of Pentium 3 1Ghz, 256Mb Ram, 50Mb free disk space and a full duplex sound card ie sound out (listen), sound in (speak) most sound cards have this, usually identified by a green (sound out) and pink (sound in) ports.

However you can use a computer with as low a spec as Pentium 3 450Mhz, 128Mb Ram, 50Mb free disk space, full duplex sound card

You will also need speakers and microphone if not using a USB phone or headset.

Internet connection

Ideally you will need a broadband connection (512k or higher). VoIP can be used over a dial-up connection (as low as 33k) but it's not ideal

VoIP communications application

Skype (www.skype.com)  is probably the best known and most used application. It's free, squillions of people use it, it works and it works great.

Others that can be used are;

Net2Phone
Gizmo
ICQ
AIM
MSN
Teamspeak

Headset / Phones

You'll need something to hear and speak to people, this is where a headset or USB phone come in.  The likely hood is, is that you've probably already got a headset or microphone and speakers, if so then there's no extra expense, hooray!. If not then get yourself either a headset or USB phone, which ever you feel more comfortable with. There's not much of a range of USB phones at the moment but they start at around 10.00. Headsets can be as cheap as you like but you get what you pay for. Go for something like the Sennheiser range and you won't got far wrong.

Someone to speak to

Hmmm, often overlooked, remember you need friends to speak to, family if all else fails J

Whoever it might be remember that they must be using the same VoIP communication application to receive your calls

 



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