VOIP using computer and headphones only?

VOIP setup and troubleshooting
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womba
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VOIP using computer and headphones only?

Post by womba » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:33 pm

I have an NBN service with a cordless phone connected to the router providing a VOIP connection which is working satisfactorily. The router / phone is in another room in the house and my computer is connected via LAN through a powerline connection. I know I can use a second cordless phone handset in my room to make and receive calls, but I was wondering whether there is another way.

At present I call out from my computer via Skype, which is competitive for most rates, but calls to Australian mobile phones are free on VOIP which is a saving on Skype. Is it possible to call VOIP from my computer using only software and headphones, just as I do with Skype?

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Dazzled
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Re: VOIP using computer and headphones only?

Post by Dazzled » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:28 am

Is it possible to call VOIP from my computer
Yes. I do it all the time, both from desktops (ADSL) and laptops and tablets (wireless modem or ethernet). Skype is a proprietary version of VoIP.

The standard protocol used is known as SIP. You will need an account from a provider such as Exetel, which will have a log in name and password. The computer will need a microphone and speaker, or else, more conveniently, you can plug in a small headset or sometimes a purpose made phone handset. The account will give you a normal phone number for the service, so that others can call you at any time on the phone in the usual way.

To receive inward calls your router system will need some port forward settings. Some mobile phone based internet services will not permit it.

The number of SIP soft phone computer applications is quite large - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SIP_software. I would start by looking up Linphone, which works well on most systems - http://www.linphone.org/ You can install a soft phone on several computers with the same account, but only run one at any time to avoid confusion.

womba
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:03 pm
Location: Perth

Re: VOIP using computer and headphones only?

Post by womba » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:07 pm

Thanks for your response.

Just to make this clear. I am on an Exetel forum so my present phone account, via my NBN internet connection, is VOIP through Exetel. I am more concerned with outward calls as the router to which my cordless phone is connected is always left on (in another room) and will ring when a call occurs, whilst the computer in my room is turned off for much of the day.

When you say 'You will need an account from a provider such as Exetel' do you mean the Exetel VOIP account which I have already or does SIP require an additional account? It sounds like another account since you mention another phone number. But the sole motivation I have for wanting to do this is to take advantage of free calls to Australian mobile phones which comes with my Exetel NBN account. If I follow the procedure you recommend, will I get cheaper calls to mobile phones than I currently get on Skype?

I assume the headset I use for Skype would meet the hardware requirements.

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Dazzled
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Re: VOIP using computer and headphones only?

Post by Dazzled » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:27 pm

I think your best option is another cordless handset. Then all handsets will be connected to the same VoIP account, and all will ring together. First to pick up gets the call. Only one at a time can ring out

If you run a soft phone on the same account as the present phone you will have a problem in that the router may not send data to the correct phone. When VoIP devices register with a VoIP account the location for the Invite signal to ring and start a conversation is your external IP address only, not the handset. Exetel's server doesn't know which device is on the account; that's a router function, and at present it sends calls to an ATA built in. You'll do no harm installing a free softphone and calling out and seeing what I mean. You can terminate the app. Skype works correctly on the computer because it is independent, as would be a second VoIP account.

Your headset will be ok.

womba
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:03 pm
Location: Perth

Re: VOIP using computer and headphones only?

Post by womba » Tue May 01, 2018 1:17 am

"I think your best option is another cordless handset."

That's what I had anticipated. SIP would be an alternative to Skype rather than another way of accessing my Exetel VOIP account through my computer and headset which is what I was hoping I could do.

Thanks for trying.

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