Save BIG with your existing cellphone technology
Skype is a well known service provider that most people have become familiar with from viewing News Broadcasts showing Remote Correspondents reporting from far away lands using Skype’s Video Conferencing. Skype Video Conferencing has become a very popular way of communicating with people who have friends or family members living abroad. What you may not be aware of is that Skype can call any phone worldwide and is not limited to Skype-to-Skype calls between computers. Skype is the best in the business with VOIP services, which include unlimited national, regional and worldwide calling plans, as well as low-cost, pay-as-you-go services. Skype-in gives users a local (or not local) phone number where they can be reached, including high quality voice mail that can be accessed from Smart Phones and computers alike. Skype provides these services at very low costs to their users. There is very little difference between using Skype on your Smart Phone and using the native Smart Phone application, except the cost.
TextFree from Pinger is a newer service provider that originally entered the market by providing free SMS text messaging which included your own personal phone number, also free. Rest assured, their text messaging application is as good as any cellular provider’s application. One big advantage for those of us who would rather use a real keyboard to enter text, is that you can do true SMS text messaging from any computer with an Internet connection. What makes their online application different is that you can receive SMS text messages as well as send them, which also means you can get/send your text messages from anywhere in the globe that has an Internet connection, for free! Pinger has expanded its services to include voice services (VOIP). You can receive calls to your TextFree number for free, and that even includes a simple voice mail application that does what voice mail is supposed to; record and playback messages. For outgoing calls, if you want them, you can purchase minutes in blocks of $1.99 which goes a long way considering their outgoing rates of 1.9¢ per minute for most areas.
SMS Text Messaging – TextFree vs. Skype: Why not just use Skype’s SMS? Simple. Skype charges, in the U.S. 11.2¢ per message (a message consists of 160 characters). TextFree works great, and it’s free! If you don’t want to see the very small TextFree advertisement at the bottom of your smart phone, or you want to help them out for providing such a great service, you can pay them $5.99 per year. I decided to pay, my wife didn’t, the choice is yours.
Phone Number vs. Internet ID: Bridging the gap between the old and the new. Why this is important to you is simple: cell phone service providers count on you not knowing these simple facts so that they can charge you outrageous amounts of money for what is available for free. When you look at SMS text messaging and Instant Messaging, did you ever wonder what the real difference is? Yes there are a few limits on the number of characters allowed and options, but both services do pretty much the same thing. They send a message to a recipient virtually instantly. The real difference is how they identify the sender and receiver so that they can communicate. When you send a text message from one phone to another, the users on each side of the conversation are identified by their respective phone numbers. Yet, on the same smart phones, you can use Yahoo or MSN messenger for free to do the same, send and receive text messages. In this case, the sender and receiver are identified by their handles, usually their email addresses. Generally speaking, it is only the identifier where the technologies differ in any major way. The same is true for voice calls, in fact, most voice calls traveling any distance are more likely than not to be routed through the Internet. To demonstrate how these alphanumeric to numeric id’s are engrained in today’s technology just look at a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) where you type in an alphanumeric ID which is actually translated into a numeric IP address, upon which, a connection is established, and your using the Web. The same thing happens with user ID’s and phone numbers. For example, you can call any other Skype Member in the world (for free) using their Skype alphanumeric ID. You can also call members using their phone number if they subscribe to Skype-in. In summary, you can call or text anyone of whom you know the id or phone number, it just works, and it’s free.