Review by Oinktastic
Good "Great call quality, great prices"
- Location: Scarborough
- Cost: $1 per month
Bad "They only deal with USD and GBP. I had to convert CAD."
Overall "Highly recommended for simple do-it-yourself VoIP"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
I've been using the service for several months (since midway through December) to call from Toronto Canada, to landlines and cellphones in the US. I have also used it to call the Caribbean, with great results. I haven't had a dropped call yet, and the call quality has been very good so far.
I've been running it over a 5M/800K DSL line with QoS setup on a Linksys WRT54GS router with Tomato installed.
They use a pre-paid setup, so they have an account in your name that you can review and add money to, which gets debited when you make a call or buy a phone number. When you first sign up, you must choose which currency your Localphone account will use, USD or GBP. I chose USD, because I'm using a Canadian credit card to add funds and I'm going to gamble that it's safer for me to convert CAD to USD than to GBP. I added $20 to begin with, and was charged 1.2% on top of that by my credit card company to convert CAD to USD. I was expecting that already, so that wasn't a problem.
I started by purchasing a US number for $3.00 and the system automatically charged me for that month's (incoming DID) fee at $0.99. Since I have been using the service for three months, my Localphone account has been debited $0.99 two more times for that (DID) number, just as you would expect.
Now, they have several different services that I have made use of already:
1. VoIP service - I had never set a VoIP system up before, so I just followed their guide (they have guides for all sorts of VoIP adapters) to set up a Linksys PAP2T.
2. Calling card - I didn't get a physical card, but you can dial their Calling Card service phone number, enter a code that they give you beforehand and then call whoever you wish to call, and get the same rates that you would get if you used their VoIP service.
3. PC app - Make calls from your computer, using your internet connection with their app. I use my laptop on WiFi and the calls are very clear, but I recommend headphones to eliminate the echo from microphone feedback. Get the same rates using your PC that you would using their VoIP service.
4. Mobile phone app (Android or iPhone) - Use Wifi/3G/whatever connection your phone has to call or text a long distance number. Just make sure that you choose your call type carefully in the app. There's a toggle button that selects either your cellphone provider's normal minutes, or Localphone's internet service to place the call. Make sure it's on the correct one before dialing long distance, or you might be in for a surprise on your cellphone bill. Get the same rates using the app that you do with their VoIP service when you go through their network.
5. Local access numbers (this one was a first for me, and I found it really cool) - On their online dashboard, create a contact for the long distance number that you want to call. Then provide it with an area code that is local to you. It will generate a local phone number that you can call from any phone, that gets forwarded to the contact you just created online. The phone number seems to stay the same month after month and you can just call it like a local number. The rates you pay for this are the same per-minute rates that you pay for using the VoIP service.
Example: You want to call someone in New York, USA and you live in Toronto, Canada. Go online to Localphone.com, log in to your account, and create a contact "Uncle Bill" and enter his number 212-xxx-xxxx. Then under settings, choose your local area. For me it's 416/647. It will provide you with a 647 or 416 number (whatever your local area code is) that, when you call it, you get connected to your Uncle Bill at 212-xxx-xxxx. You pay whatever their standard rate for calling that long distance 212-xxx-xxxx number would be, same as if you called it with your app or VoIP.
If you have the app installed and your VoIP service set up (with a DID), you can call between them for free. Also, you can call your mobile app from your PC app for free, and if course you can call another Localphone member for free on their Localphone number/app.
They offer all kinds of phone numbers, including international (iNum) phone numbers. Some are cheap, some are pretty expensive. They also have a referral program that gives you a percentage of the credit that your friend adds, and their phone numbers are free to setup until March 1st, 2013.
Let me know if you have any questions about the service.
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updated 1 year ago