As part of looking all this calling stuff overseas, I hit a bunch of VOIP sites. A pretty interesting review. I actually tried some of them from Ignition and they were amazingly good and cheap too. These are sorted in Google page rank order and the analysis shows they are great for the US, but not clearly better than a calling card or 1010 dial around for overseas.
For example, 1010 Phone Rates shows that 1016868 shows costs $0.23 to Switzerland cellular and WorldXchange at 1010629 is just $0.54 for a call to Senegal. As another example, with AT&T it is $0.76 to Senegal and $0.14 to Swiss and French landlines, doesn't say what the celllular rates, but I'm guess that it is probably $0.35. In contrast, here are the VOIP vendors:
- Net2Phone. I've had an account here for a while and it was terrible about two years ago. Now, I tried and it worked fine. They have a prepay program so I thought I would try it when calling Connie given I have a PC speaker and it would be nice for the kids to hear. Sample rates are $0.02 with the US, $0.30 to Franch, $0.36 for Swiss cellular and $1.19 to Senegal.
- Dialpad. The second biggest according to google and the rates are a little lower. Sample rates are $0.03 within the US, $0.29 to French mobile, $0.36 to Swiss cellular and $0.99 to Senegal.
- I Connect There. The most informative site and also the lowest cost, but I don't know about quality. Best thing is that they tell you about hardware to buy. For instance, there are USB gateways that let you connect an analog phone to your PC and there is a device from Cisco that does this without a PC but costs $180. Sample rates are $0.03 with the US, $0.27 to a French mobile, $0.29 to Swiss mobile and Senegal is $0.79 via Internet.