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Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Given that PN is closing the service down, I want to start looking for a replacement service.
1. I don't make that many calls maybe 2 a week so not high volume.
2. all UK
3. must be payg no monthly costs.
4. credit must NOT expire
I have found VoipCheapUK and VoipStunt, both of which seem to offer a free service, but the web sites are confusing, they say UK LL calls are FREE, but you need credit  Huh (both seem to be the same unit under different names)
I still have £9.50 on Skype but given their costs, 4p connection then 2p/min I will use it till I run out of credit.
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Have you looked at sipgate?
Not sure whether credit expires, but you get a free UK landline number.
I selected it as I only tend to make free phone calls
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pwatson
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

For incoming calls - Sipgate.  Free geographic number and no ongoing costs
For outgoing calls - I used to use Sipgate and found the reliable.  Calls to UK mobiles are quite expensive and UK landline rate can be bettered.  I've now moved to using Localphone however.  Rates are cheaper and the service is reliable although I do occasionally get strange call progress tones as they vary their routing to take advantage of the cheapest carrier.  
Voiptalk etc are all part of the Betamax group of companies and they all operate in much the same way ie free landline calls as long as you top up periodically but they have varying tariffs.  I use SMSListo as a backup provider for calls to UK mobiles.
Community Veteran
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

It's 99% for outgoing calls, not bothered about incoming calls, get enough spam calls on the LL & mobile.
Signed up to Sipgate, waiting for it to be "authorised" or similar.
Will look at localphone.
RobPN
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Quote from: Hairy
Given that PN is closing the service down, I want to start looking for a replacement service.
1. I don't make that many calls maybe 2 a week so not high volume.
2. all UK
3. must be payg no monthly costs.
4. credit must NOT expire
I have found VoipCheapUK and VoipStunt, both of which seem to offer a free service, but the web sites are confusing, they say UK LL calls are FREE, but you need credit  Huh (both seem to be the same unit under different names)

The Betamax / Finarea / Dellmont SARL group offer some excellent deals and they are generally pretty reliable and decent quality.  You need to compare them with each other (see link below) depending on what type of calls you want to make, but for example the one I mainly use ATM (FreeVoipDeal) charges only 0.5p per minute to call UK mobiles (no setup fees either!).
Generally speaking (no pun intended) you pay a fee of say 10 Euros which then enables you to make calls - the credit does not expire unless of course you use it all up.
Some accounts give you a number of  'Freedays' which varies according to the account chosen, but for the one I mentioned above it's 120 days.  During that time you can make up to 300 mins per rolling 7 days of 'Free' calls to the destination countries listed as 'Free' for that account, after which (120 days or 300 mins) you pay for the calls at the (usually) very low rates listed for the account.
If you've registered for a free Sipgate account to get an incoming number, you can associate that number for Caller ID purposes with your new Finarea group account.
I've used several of their accounts for several years with no major problems or long down-times.  In the early years the credit used to expire on some of the accounts, but that's no longer the case.
If you choose carefully from the list at the link below, checking such things as number of 'Freedays' included, charges to your likely destinations after the 'Freedays' period ends etc. you'll probably find that your 10 Euros would last ages at the call rate you've stated above!  When it eventually runs out, simply top up by the minimum amount and you'll get another 'Freedays' period!
Some useful links;
http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Finarea+SA
http://progx.ch/home-voip-prixbetamax-3-1-2.html
I've not checked for a while but having just done so it appears my calls to mobiles have increased slightly to 1 EuroCent per minute (so still under 1p per minute!), see;
http://www.freevoipdeal.com/calling_rates/
Edit:  PS - You can customize the large table at the link above by using the drop-down list of preferred destinations near the top of the page by selecting them (in conjunction with the Ctrl key) which then gives you a more manageable shortened version.
Community Veteran
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Just signed up with Localphone, mainly 'cause it allows a top up of £1, (or rather 1.20!) rather than £10. Which given the rate of 0.4p/min will be 250 min of calls before I need to topup again.
Interestingly the app, NEEDS a vaild sim phone number, so it will not work on my old android phone which I use for voip as it has no sim in it. BUT it DOES work on my new phone which no other voip client did. (It works on the old phone using Zoiper which I use with PN voip)
Rates to mobiles aren't bad either @1.5p/min.
RobPN
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Quote from: Hairy
... given the rate of 0.4p/min will be 250 min of calls before I need to topup again.
Interestingly the app, NEEDS a vaild sim phone number, so it will not work on my old android phone which I use for voip as it has no sim in it. BUT it DOES work on my new phone which no other voip client did. (It works on the old phone using Zoiper which I use with PN voip)
Rates to mobiles aren't bad either @1.5p/min.

Those rates don't seem too steep.  Smiley
I just had a quick look on the site to see if it's something I would consider adding to my VoIP armoury but it doesn't appear to be as flexible as my present setup.
Do you have to use an app / desktop software to use the service, or do you get SIP details that you can enter into VoIP hardware?
If so, is there a way of presenting any other number which you 'own' as CLID?
pwatson
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

You can use any SIP hardware with Localphone and you can present CLID from another number that you 'own'
RobPN
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

OK, thanks for that info.  Smiley
In which case I might have another look and signup when I get a few minutes. 
Community Veteran
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Quote from: RobPN
Do you have to use an app / desktop software to use the service, or do you get SIP details that you can enter into VoIP hardware?

Quote from: Hairy
(It works on the old phone using Zoiper which I use with PN voip)

I use Zoiper on my old mobile (sans sim) on wifi here, and their app on my main phone (which doesn't normally allow voip to authenticate). Zoiper is a standalone voip client allowing multiple back ends.
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Quote from: Hairy
Just signed up with Localphone

I've just been looking at Localphone but there appear to be some bad reviews out there. I know it's early days for you but what's the call quality like and any thoughts on reliability?
Bob
pwatson
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Community Veteran
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Registered: 20-07-2007

Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Thanks.
Community Veteran
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

Just setup a localphone account, we'll see how it goes. It let me set my landline number as the CLI, it just made a call to it to verify. Although it would let me register(connect) my mobile and home SIP phone at the same time, trying to call my sip id from the mobile gave 'line busy'. However, I already had a sipgate account I hadn't used for a while so I tried with that and it was ok.
Looks like I'll keep both the sipgate account for free calls home and the localphone one for outgoing calls from home.
itsme
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Re: Anyone recommend a FREE alternative?

The Sipgate account you say that you have not used in awhile how long are you saying?
I was surprised to find that me Sipgate account had not been closed as I have not used it in more than 6 years. If I ring the number I get the voicemail message that I put on it. But I can not seem to be able to get it registered to make outgoing calls. On my Gigaset it say failed and on my smartphone using Zoiper it just say ready. So at the moment I don't know whether it's me missing something or the account is blocked..
Also being askied for an address for the emergency services but return with 'A temporary network error has occured. Please try again later.' when trying to save, so don't know whether this is also an indication the account is blocked.