Freedom, Community & Sustainability

Free and Open Source alternatives to Skype VoIP

February 6, 2012 -- William
Last modified on June 2018
Duration: +- 15 minutes

5 – Regular telephone with VoIP rates

It's great to make calls from your computer at very low fees but, what if you could just use your regular land-line phone? Well, you can do that too! In order to do that you have several options:

Buy a VoIP telephone hardware. The VoIP phones look like a regular telephone but they are like a computer inside. They connect to the Internet and take advantage of the offer you have subscribed to in the steps 2 and 3. These telephones can cost a couple hundred bucks.

Buy an adapter for your existing telephone. If you really like your telephone and want to use it as it is, you can purchase an adapter that will do the VoIP part for your existing telephone. The price of these devices are also around a couple hundred bucks.

Buy a USB telephone and connect it to your computer. The USB phones are usually cheaper than the standalone VoIP phones but you need to have them connected to your computer. To put it more bluntly, USB phones are basically a microphone, a loudspeaker and a keypad nicely packed to look like a traditional telephone.

Last but not least, you can make VoIP calls without any hardware or software installation at all. To do this you have to subscribe to a VoIP offer that allows you to make two-party calls (Diamondcard.us can do that under “Call now”). When you want to make a call you have to go to your provider's website and inform your telephone number and the number of the person you want to call. Shortly after doing this you will receive a phone call and you will be connected to the destination phone number. Mind that you will pay two calls, one for each telephone that is communicating. Since the rates are quite low, this can be a smart solution at times.

That's it! Don't hesitate to post your experiences with Free and Open VoIP in the comments and asking questions about things I may have not explained very well.

Read also:
Why Skype is not part of Ubuntu?
SIP Broker
TalkFree (distributor programs)



Submitted by pablo (not verified) on

Very fine write up. Congratulations and much gratitude. If I may offer a suggestion, if you could illustrate the configuration of the SIP accounts and logging in, etc., for example, by including a screenshot, that would be helpful for people like me.

Submitted by William on
Thank you for the suggestion, I'll definitely do that!

Submitted by Cliff (not verified) on

Its about time there is a decent alternative to skype. If im honest I think that skype can be a bit laggy. I have been using Fring recently and it seems to be much smoother than Skype. I have never tried jitsi but I will give it a go!


I would not go for an open source alternative because security and quality of service is a primary concern for me. Hence, I would prefer using paid but quality service from WebEx, GoMeetNow, GotoMeeting, RHUB web conferencing servers etc. for all my online meeting needs.  


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