PC to Phone Calls

Take advantage of your computer by making quality calls from your PC to other phones! VoIP makes PC to phone calling possible, and can be used for either business or residential purposes.

pc to phone calls

What Are PC to Phone Calls?

A quick overview on how PC to Phone calls work

A PC to phone call allows you to use your computer as a phone and make calls from your PC to a phone. It is usually an application or software (often referenced as a "softphone") offered through most VoIP service providers. PC to phone calls are much cheaper than traditional calls on the PSTN because they utilize your existing Internet connection to make the call happen. And sometimes, a call from a PC is free!

A PC to phone call uses a technology known as "VoIP." VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it is a technology that allows you to use the Internet to make phone calls. VoIP is a great replacement for traditional telephone service due to the cost savings; but because VoIP works based on Internet Protocol (think of Internet Protocol as the language that computers use to talk to one another on Internet), you can also use a PC to make calls. You can get VoIP solutions for both business and residential use.

softphone on a desktop computer

Softphone PC to Phone Calls

How softphones help you connect via your PC

The providers above each offer PC to phone calls as an add-on to their traditional phone service with a product called a softphone.

A softphone is a piece of software that allows you to convert sound from a microphone into a VoIP call. Most softphones do not cost anything at all; they're offered for free through a variety of providers. Some softphones, however, cost a little extra due to the additional features that they provide.

With a softphone, you can easily place calls and carry out other phone functions through your computer. More often than not, customers who use a softphone talk through a headset with an accompanying microphone. A softphone, however, cannot function on its own. It requires a VoIP service provider's network in order to complete calls. 

landline residential phone

Free PC to Phone Calls

How placing PC to Phone calls can save you money

Most PC to Phone calls are not free. In order to place a call to the public telephone network, the call from your PC has to pass through at least one public network. To access that network, you have to pay a small fee.

Usually, most VoIP providers charge you a subscription fee or a price per minute for calls to the public network. The VoIP providers listed above all charge a subscription fee; providers like Skype or Rebtel offer PC to phone calls at a per minute rate.

Some PC to phone calls are free; usually, these free PC to phone calls are made within the VoIP provider's network (that is, if the VoIP provider provides service to the person being called and the person placing the call).

Asterisk: PC to Phone Calls

What to know about this open source framework

Businesses can also use a PC to make phone calls by using a program called Asterisk. First released in 1993, Asterisk is a framework for building multi-protocol, real-time communications applications and solutions. It gives consumers the ability to transform normal PCs into communications servers. This allows you to create communications applications that are flexible and built to your liking. Asterisk is a great way to build yourself a custom communication system to enable PC to phone calls. 

While Asterisk allows you to completely customize your phone system, it does take a little bit of technical expertise to set up and implement. Also note that Asterisk is just a program; it does not supply a VoIP service. You still need to sign up for a VoIP service in order to complete your calls.

Using PC to phone calls are a great way to set up a mobile work force (since users can install a softphone on a laptop or home desktop) or set up a cheap phone system (since you can just set the phone up on your computer).

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