What You Need
To begin making telephone calls from your computer, you need the following:
- Pentium-class PC with a standard sound card having a microphone input jack and a headphone/speaker output jack.
- A microphone to pick up your voice and a speaker for hearing the person you are calling. Suitable devices include a PC microphone and speakers, a PC headset, or a PC handset that implements the functionality of a PC headset in the form of a handset.
- Internet connection, either a 28.8 Kbps or greater dial-up connection or a high-speed DSL or cable connection.
The quality of your Internet connection will impact the call quality.
- Internet telephony software, either provided by an Internet long distance service, which may have the software download automatically into your web browser when you log in, or software such as Microsoft's NetMeeting for PC to PC calls.
There are many web-based PC-to-Phone or PC-to-PC services that provide Internet long distance calling for little or no cost.