Net2phone

I’m considering signing up for net2phone to save some money on long distance charges. Has anyone had any problems using this service in Taiwan?

As well the service requires the purchase of a ‘InnoMedia 3328-2 telephone adapter’ - any replacement for this that I could buy in Taiwan?

I always thought that the new msnmessenger was quite good for voice chat. Is net2phone much better?

The last time I used net2phone must have been 2 years ago and the quality at the time was okay considering most of my calls were free. I think when they first started, all calls to Canada and the US were free. I could make PC to phone calls with my laptop and a cheap NT150 headset.

The service I am considering using is their voiceline broadband phone service. You use a normal phone jacked in to a telephone adaptor. The unfortunate part is that I know realise you have to buy their telephone adaptor for $99.00. Since they also give you a US or UK phone number, it could also be cheaper for people back home to give us a call.

I would consider other options, even using instant messaging, but as I our household has only Macs our options seem limited.

I know there has been some threads about this in the past but I was checking to see if people still are using this or another type of service with any success. HiNet wouldn’t block the use of such a product would they?

I just found a great new option. You can use for business (toll free number in the US that gets forwarded to any phone number in the world) or for family to call you.

I use Packet8 which is a good deal cheaper than net2phone, and has more US area codes available (no UK service though). The current deal is $19.95 per month for unlimited calls to US & Canada, and very low international rates. The startup cost is $29.95 which includes the hardware. You can knock $5 off the startup by searching for coupons on google. Quality and reliability has been pretty good, though the quality of your ISP has a lot to do with that (I’m on So-Net).

Seems almost too good to be true. $20.00 a month and I can talk to family in Canada for in theory all day, all night long?

How does the quality compare with regular phone lines?

Well there are some services like FreeWorldDialup and stanaphone that do it for free. Those I think are too good to be true and will eventually go away or morph to for-pay plans. They also require being tied to a computer, whereas Packet8 (and the net2phone option first discussed) allow you to plug in a regular phone and use it like a regular phone. My family just wouldn’t use it unless it works like a regular phone. But anyways, I have been on it several times for more than an hour at a time and it’s never been a problem. My family uses it for international calls also because it is cheaper than regular international rates, even to nearby countries like Hong Kong. It’s 2-3 cents a minute to most western european and some asian countries (the more regulated countries cost more).

This is where it depends a lot on your ISP quality. From here in Taiwan there is a slightly noticable delay, but not much worse than a regular phone call. Clarity seems better than a regular phone call normally. Occasionally if there is some network congestion, it will start sounding like a cell phone that it losing reception. If your ISP sucks then you may have these problems more frequently.

Though I realise that this post is more or less about web to phone service, I’d suggest that it would be cheaper in the long run to by a headset for each of your friends with a computer than to use said services.

You’re already paying for the internet…why pay twice?

I believe AOL and Apple have something in that direction already, and that there are more of the kind on the way.( for the iChatAV)

I’d say that one would be better off supplying a headset to those with whom one wishes to speak to back home(assuming that most have internet access) as it would be MUCH cheaper in the end.

I’m at a loss every time I think about how much I’ve saved by vid conferencing with my family.(my brother has a computer so they call me to see if i’m near the computer and we just “go live” for the rest.

I think that you should keep your eyes open towards the fourth quarter of this year for more software which brings PC and Mac users closer.

[quote=“Nam”]Though I realise that this post is more or less about web to phone service, I’d suggest that it would be cheaper in the long run to by a headset for each of your friends with a computer than to use said services.

You’re already paying for the internet…why pay twice?[/quote]

Not everyone is computer literate enough (or wants to be) to go through all the hassle. Believe me, I’ve tried. You should have seen the amount of effort we went to trying to get audio or video conferencing working between various parts of the family.

“Hello?” “Can you here me?” “I heard something!” “Can you see me?” “Hello?” “What’s that on the screen?” “I can’t hear you!” “Say it again?”

It was ridiculous. That’s not even to mention most of my family who don’t know how to download and install stuff on their computer.

On the other hand, they all know how to use a phone. They all have phones. Most of them have more than one, and even one they can carry with them everywhere they go.

Point made, though there are also many an app made for remote support.
Xp has it and so does netmeeting(2k&98 as well as ME). all they have to do is let you run their machine for fifteen to twenty and all’s set up.
VNC is another alternative for remote admin and it’s free.

[quote=“Nam”]Though I realise that this post is more or less about web to phone service, I’d suggest that it would be cheaper in the long run to by a headset for each of your friends with a computer than to use said services.

You’re already paying for the internet…why pay twice?

I believe AOL and Apple have something in that direction already, and that there are more of the kind on the way.( for the iChatAV)

I’d say that one would be better off supplying a headset to those with whom one wishes to speak to back home(assuming that most have internet access) as it would be MUCH cheaper in the end.

I’m at a loss every time I think about how much I’ve saved by vid conferencing with my family.(my brother has a computer so they call me to see if I’m near the computer and we just “go live” for the rest.

I think that you should keep your eyes open towards the fourth quarter of this year for more software which brings PC and Mac users closer.[/quote]

Our immediate family back home has broadband connections and have been thrilled with even the low quality video that Yahoo messenger provides. Nothing like watching baby play while you chat.

Unfortunately no one in our family uses a comparable computer set-up which seems to make video conferencing impossible. My family is using old macs running OS9, my wife’s use off the shelf PC’s which they always seem to have trouble with, and we use OSX. As well, I talk to people a lot in Thailand and no one has broadband there. I was mighty thrilled when iChat was introduced, even bought an iSight camera, bought the reality is I have no one who it can talk to.

I found another interesting service called Vonage. The have the distinction have having local Canadian ‘virtual numbers’ which would allow our family to make a local call. They also have a soft phone that runs on your laptop, rather convenient when travelling, and they don’t charge for the hardware that connects the phone to the network. Their rates are a bit more expensive and unfortunately it is only available to those with a US PO and credit card billing address. Something I found out only after reading their site for 15 minutes.

I’m considering packet8 but if I understood correctly, I have to pay for the equipment if I’m outside the US. Is that right? and if so, what did it cost you?

I didn’t have to pay for equipment, though I used a US address to sign up. There’s still a startup cost and there’s extra shipping charges to Taiwan, but don’t think they charge for equipment if you use the standard Freedom Unlimited plan.

I’m using net4p.com (chinese only).They have services for a monthly fees of1700nt or 2600nt or more depending on the areas you’d like to call. So far very satisfied with their service.

Just FYI for those with friends computer literate enough.

skype.com

Free computer to computer service. They do have a charge from computer to phone service. Sorry don’t ask me about the rates cuz I’ve never used them. The quality is pretty good, just about phone quality if you ask me and I’m using a 99NT headset on my laptop. Preferably broadband to broadband connection. I think there was some lag though barely noticed when going from broadband to dialup.

As for phone, I use phone cards. Please note this is from Taiwan to the US rate of 20US for 16 hours (.02 per minute) for a card that lasts for a year. Dragon is the name. You dial a local Taiwan number and go thru the usual dialing a ID #, etc. It’s been pretty good so far, but I admit there have been times of mass frustration as others seemingly clog up the lines so I can’t get through. But as I only use it once a week, seems to do me pretty well. They do have other rates to other countries but I don’t know them, sorry. For those with friends in the US, ask them to go to their local Chinatown and you can get these phone cards there.

agreed on the skype option. charges vary per country.

Skype would be great for me (US $0.06 per minute to the country I call the most vs about $0.60 via Chungwa) but when I was trying to sign up last night, I saw that they only take Visa or Amex and we use MC.

I wish I could do just pc to pc calls but it seems everyone in my family is technophobic.

Jlick, I’m starting the sign up process with packet8 now and wondering if anyone’s found the adapter locally.

For those looking for cheap phone cards, just go to:

www.phonecardsonsale.com

Around $20 per card. Make sure to get a card with a high rating. Also make sure to get a card with no connection fees (though if you use a pay phone, there is usually an extra fee). These days, the cards can be used from a bunch of major cities around the world to call just about anywhere. Worth looking into if you make a lot of longish phone calls overseas.