I’ve decided that having a cell phone and an internet stick is redundant since I just about never make any calls and receiving some is insanely expensive. I’ve let my cell phone number lapse and have been shopping for alternatives. Learning that Google lets you call out at no charge got me thinking. If my computer can call out to telephones, couldn’t telephones call my computer?
Yup. And, to my surprise, several companies offer the service. Skype offers the best option, providing you with a landline number and voicemail for $6/month. The catch is that because of Canada’s stupid telecommunications laws, Skype can’t provide you with a Canadian number. Having people, especially potential employers, call a US number to reach me is out of the question!
Followed a lot of research, as is par for the course when trying to get around Canada’s stupid telecommunications laws. I found three services which would offer me a Canadian number and Skype compatibility.
The first, www.ring2skype.com, is free, but flaky, and not compatible with Skype Voicemail. I made several calls via Google and only half would go through.
The second, www.onekingtelecom.com, sounded great, offering both the number and voicemail for $10/month, but there was almost no information on it, and what was there made the company seem awfully sketchy.
The third, www.virtufon.com, seems almost perfect for my needs. It is $4.95 per month for the phone number, with a $4.95 one time set up fee. It has a large selection of local Canadian numbers, not just from the big cities. However, there are no Yukon numbers. I decided to go with a 778 Vancouver number. This service needs to be paired with Skype voicemail, which is $2/month. So, the total per month is $6.95, much cheaper than the $20 worth of minutes I was buying and throwing away every month!
If my computer is on and Skype is open, Skype will ring when I get a call. Otherwise, my calls go to voicemail. Skype even emails me to let me know I have a voicemail. I like that I was able to create my own voicemail message. My favourite test was to call my iPod Touch; with a better microphone I have a very cheap iPhone!
The only caveat is that the service can’t be used to make emergency calls to 911, which isn’t a big deal most of the time for me since I’m rarely in a 911 call zone.Share on Facebook