VBuzzer PC to Phone VoIP Review
Update: VBuzzer offer Free Calls to 20 Countries during January 2006
A short update to the VBuzzer review. Till January 30 2006, VBuzzer are offering free calling to 20 countries during their 'Spring Festival' promotion. These countries include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Mainland China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, The United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The call quality is excellent (particularly if you live in North America) and although not officially supported, VBuzzer is presently SIP compatible. Additional note: The 1c/min to 20 countries promotion outlined in the article below has been extended by VBuzzer till March 31 2006.
Till December 31st 2005, new PC to Phone entrant VBuzzer are offering clients 1c/min calls to 20 countries using their free PC to Phone software. I've personally bought credit with VBuzzer and have to say that I'm very impressed. Their PC to Phone software is easy to use and the call quality, terrific. Furthermore, emails to their support department were answered within hours and their staff were very helpful.
In addition to their 1c/min promotion, VBuzzer are also offering an extremely competitive 'North America unlimited plan'. For only $7.99 per month, you can call any number in the US or Canada using PC to Phone for as long as you want. Only a few restrictions apply (e.g., calls allowed only to land line phones in some countries for the promotional rate, calls to Hawaii/Alaska excluded).
Free VBuzzer Inbound direct dial telephone number
In fashion similar to Stanaphone, VBuzzer are also offering free, real PSTN telephone numbers for account holders. The only area code available under the free service at this point is 416 (Toronto) however it's difficult to complain given that they're not charging for the service. This 'free' number promotion is also deemed to expire on the 31st of December
so it's possible that per-month charges will apply after the cut-off date.
So why would you want a real phone number to use with VBuzzer? Simple. Whenever you're signed in to VBuzzer using their softphone (or using a VoIP device), people can reach you using a regular telephone by calling your Toronto number and your computer or VoIP device will 'ring'. Furthermore, just say that you live in India and have family in Toronto, using the free VBuzzer Toronto number, your relatives in Toronto would be able to contact you for the cost of a local call. The potential financial savings are tremendous.
VBuzzer with Session Internet Protocol (SIP) VoIP Devices (e.g., Analog Telephone Adapters)
In addition to using the Softphone, customers with Broadband Internet connections may be able to use SIP (Session Internet Protocol) devices with VBuzzer. The use of SIP devices is neither officially supported by VBuzzer nor condoned however SIP devices should work provided that your settings are correctly configured. As SIP compatibility is not officially offered, you may find that the SIP ports utilized by VBuzzer change often and without notice. Keeping on top of these changes may involve a little frustration however at 1c/min without contracts, it's difficult to complain. Furthermore when I queried VBuzzer support regarding SIP compatibility, they (VBuzzer support) kindly pointed me in the direction of an online forum where people were sharing configuration settings for use with SIP devices and VBuzzer.
On a personal level, I'd love to see official support for VoIP devices in the future as more people gain access to high speed internet connections. The idea of having high quality VoIP service provided by a helpful company at ridiculously low rates (and without contracts) is very appealing. Add to that a viable alternative to long distance telephone service providers using everyday analog telephones and I'm sold.
Again, December 31st 2005 is the cut-off
Without question , these have to be some of the lowest PC to Phone rates out there. Of course, they're only for a limited time and who knows what they'll jump to after the promotion ends but until then, what have you got to lose?