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Skype - proprietary voice-over-IP service and software application. Allows users to communicate with peers by voice using a microphone, video by using a webcam, and instant messaging over the Internet.

Top 10 Best Web Phone Services | Internet Telephony

Web Phone Service Resources Top 10 Best (Free) Web Phone Services

VOICE-OVER-INTERNET PROTOCOL (VoIP) is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. Other terms commonly associated with VoIP are IP telephony, Internet telephony, voice over broadband (VoBB), broadband telephony, IP communications, and broadband phone service.

The term Internet telephony specifically refers to the provisioning of communications services (voice, fax, SMS, voice-messaging) over the public Internet, rather than via the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The steps and principles involved in originating VoIP telephone calls are similar to traditional digital telephony and involve signaling, channel setup, digitization of the analog voice signals, and encoding. Instead of being transmitted over a circuit-switched network, however, the digital information is packetized, and transmission occurs as IP packets over a packet-switched network. Such transmission entails careful considerations about resource management different from time-division multiplexing (TDM) networks.

Early providers of voice-over-IP services offered business models and technical solutions that mirrored the architecture of the legacy telephone network. Second-generation providers, such as Skype, have built closed networks for private user bases, offering the benefit of free calls and convenience while potentially charging for access to other communication networks, such as the PSTN. This has limited the freedom of users to mix-and-match third-party hardware and software. Third-generation providers, such as Google Talk, have adopted the concept of federated VoIP—which is a departure from the architecture of the legacy networks. These solutions typically allow dynamic interconnection between users on any two domains on the Internet when a user wishes to place a call.

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  • FRING - since 2006. Free peer-to-peer mobile service enabling live chat, audio and video calls from mobile phones.
  • ICQ - since 1996. "FREE calls from any device. Call your ICQ contacts free of charge and stay in touch wherever you are." Instant messaging computer program.
  • OFONO - since 2009. "Open source telephony." A place to bring developers together around designing an infrastructure for building mobile telephony (GSM/UMTS) applications.
  • Project Fi - since 2015. "Project Fi, a phone plan from Google. A new way to say hello." Project Fi is a program to deliver a fast, easy wireless experience in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and our users.
  • SKYPE - since 2003. "Free calls to friends and family." Skype keeps the world talking. Call, message and share whatever you want for free. Freemium voice-over-IP service and instant messaging client that is currently developed by the Microsoft Skype Division. "Do amazing things for free: voice and video calls to anyone else on Skype; conference calls with three or more people; instant messaging, file transfer and screen sharing; call landlines and mobiles worldwide."
  • Skype Translator - "Speak another language without learning another language. Simply set up a Skype video or voice call with someone who speaks another language to you and start talking. Your conversation is translated into their language in real time. And what they say is translated back in your language.
  • Tango - since 2009. "Free International Calls Through Tango Out." No more international calling cards or worrying about expensive service charges to call home! Video chat, make free phone calls, send text messages and share pictures and status updates with Tango.
  • VIBER - "Free and secure calls and messages to anyone, anywhere." Keep your conversations going no matter where you are. Initially launched for iPhone on Dec 2 2010, in direct competition with Skype. Proprietary cross-platform instant messaging voice-over-Internet Protocol application for smartphones. In addition to text messaging, users can exchange images, video and audio media messages.
  • Vonage - since 2001. "Crazy generous." Free International Calls in iPhone & Android." Free Talk, Text and Video Worldwide. Download and make FREE high-definition phone calls and video calls and send FREE texts, video messages and photos to Vonage Mobile users worldwide.
  • VOPIUM - since 2006. "Reach the world for less." Vopium is an award winning, free mobile phone app that enables you to save up to 94% on your international calls using latest mobile VoIP technology. With over one million customers in 46 countries, Vopium powers reliable cost effective communication around the world.
  • Wire - since 2014. "The most secure collaboration platform." Secure messaging, file sharing, voice calls and video conferences. All protected with end-to-end encryption. Communicate securely with clients and partners - even if they don’t have a Wire account. Create an encrypted guest room in seconds. Send an invitation link and partners can join with a click - nothing to download, no registration required. A team of more than 50 people from 23 countries, supported by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, is launching Wire, a communications network for messaging, voice calling, sharing pictures, music and video on your phone, tablet and desktop. Wire is available on iOS, Android and OS X. It offers communications with an emphasis on high fidelity paired with elegant design. People can use Wire for personal and group messaging, voice calling, sharing pictures, SoundCloud music and YouTube video sharing. Wire conversations are kept in sync across all your devices.
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