By Alok Saboo on August 25th, 2008
I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts that you could get much more than what FWD has to offer for free using Voxalot. I received large number of queries about this. So this post details how you can get the most of your free Voxalot account.
Voxalot is basically a platform that provides you a convenient method to manage all your VoIP providers. But if you are only going to use one VoIP provider, you are under-utilizing the power of Voxalot. You can still continue to use Voxalot to receive free inbound SIP calls and make SIP calls. Voxalot offers its services in four variants. The free version, VoxBasic, has most of the features a typical user will require. They also offer three premium variants ranging from $15 to $40 per year, VoxLite, VoxPro and VoxExtreme. The premium variants differ from the free version in three crucial aspects.
- SIP registrations for inbound calls – This means unless your VoIP provider is SIP compliant and offers a SIP forwarding service, you will not be able to use Voxalot to receive calls on Voxalot. As expected, the basic service does not provide any SIP registration for inbound calls.
- Call connections rules – If you have multiple VoIP providers and you want to choose one provider to make calls to one country and others for some other country, you can set up dial plans in Voxalot. Voxalot will route the calls depending on the rule that you set. Once again, the free version does not provide any dial plan feature.
- Web call back – This allows you to access VoIP from any regular phone even if you do not have any VoIP equipment like ATA or IP Phone. You can read more about it here.
I would strongly encourage you to explore the premium services. But, you can get a lot done using the VoxBasic free service. But to use VoxBasic, you could use any of the first 5 methods to use VoIP discussed earlier. You can find detailed video tutorial on setting up Voxalot SIP account on your hardware device (ATA) or SIP soft phone here. Once you have set up some thing to access Voxalot, here are some of the things you could do using your free Voxalot account:
- Free VoIP to VoIP calls – this means you can call the millions of people using VoIP across the world for free. Voxalot provides peering to over 2000 SIP networks.
- Receive unlimited free calls – Voxalot provides free inbound SIP address. You can forward calls to your Voxalot address. Your Voxalot address is XXXXXX@us.voxalot.com or XXXXXX@au.voxalot.com or XXXXXX@eu.voxalot.com depending on where you are located (XXXXXX is your Voxalot number). FYI…this is the service that FWD offers for $30 now. You can use one of the free DID providers like ipkall to get a regular phone number which can be reached by any regular number and forward the number to your Voxalot address.
- Unlimited VoIP service providers – you could register unlimited VoIP service providers, even though you will have to manually select between them.
- Speed dialing – If you hate dialing numbers, you can also use the speed dialing feture provided by VoxBasic.
- Virtual Toll free – If you are a website owner, this is a great feature to have. You can provide a clickable button on your website through which a visitor can contact you for free. The call will be completed using the VoIP provider that you specify. Thus, the caller is not charged for the call, the receiver handles the cost (hence the name).
- ENUM Lookups – When you route your call thorough Voxalot, it determines if there is a free way to complete the call. This is done through the ENUM directory. ENUM is a great way to save on calling cost. Considering the number of companies and users adopting VoIP, it is not uncommon to find a VoIP address to a lot of number that you regularly call. Voxalot will find that for you and it means a lot of savings.
- Global Access numbers – You have access to thousands of access number though which people can reach you using regular phones. There access numbers are available in lot of countries. A complete list of PSTN access numbers is available here. At the voice prompt, the caller has to enter *010 followed by your Voxalot number. *010 is the Voxalot SIP code.
- Voice mail – you also get your own free voice mail box.
- Dial Toll-Free numbers – Voxalot also allows you to make toll free calls. For example to dial Diners on +1 800 234 6377 through Voxalot just dial: *18002346377.
- iNUM Support – Your Voxalot account also provides you with a free iNum number. Find out what is an iNum number and how you can use iNum to provide SIP support to Skype or SIP support to Google Talk.
Free is not always bad. In Voxalot’s case, it is defintely not. Explore Voxalot and let me know how you feel about it.