Many people are discovering they can use the Internet to make cheap telephone calls, and also can convert their cell phones into a type of modem for surfing the Internet. This allows people greater options to communicate and become more mobile, and reaching other people can be a lot easier. The two different types of "phones" involve two different procedures.
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Things you need
- PC speakers
- Headset or a specially designed "hub" phone
- Subscription to a VoIP provider
- Router or wireless hub that will allow VoIP calls
- GPRS modem-enabled cell phone
- Bluetooth or USB cable
Turn on the router/hub and let it power up. The router or hub is the device that connects your telephone line to the Internet. Start up the PC.
Select the VoIP provider you wish to use and sign up to the service. VoIP stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol" and is the technology used to allow voice calls to be made over the Internet; all major telecoms companies now offer this technology to their customers. (VoIP calls may be cheap, but they are not totally free; you still have to pay a subscription for certain types of usage -- for example, a monthly fee may give you weekend and evening calls only and a charge will apply for calls made during the day).
Download the software from the provider. Some suppliers may send a disk, which can then be installed on your PC.
Register the hub phone to the VoIP connection. A hub phone sits in front of the hub and has its own telephone number. It will give you on-screen instructions to register it to the network.
For VoIP headsets, plug the headset into the PC using the provided USB cable.
Make a call. Use the hub phone in exactly the same way as a normal handset. For PC calls, use the keyboard in the same way as a telephone keypad, or simply click the number displayed next to the contact name. Unless you are using a provider such as Skype, you will not be able to see the person you are talking to, but will speak to them through the headset as if you were using a telephone.
Connect the phone to the PC using either Bluetooth or a USB cable.
Create a dial-up connection. In the control panel of the PC, click "Internet options," then "Create a dial-up connection." Enter *99# as the phone number to be dialled.
Configure the GPRS setting on the PC to those on the phone. GPRS is the satellite system that locates the technology using it. Enter the GPRS address of the phone as the address for dial-up connections, and change the APN (Actual Protocol Network -- this relates to the built-in service on the PC, which will normally look for a connection on a landline) settings on the "Modem options" tool. You will find this in the control panel of your PC (Start-Control panel). This is quite technical and advice on how to adjust the settings must be obtained from your mobile phone company. If you are in doubt as to your technical ability, it is better not to try this without assistance.
Go to "Start," "Internet Options," and then start the "Dial up connection" option.
Open the Internet browser and start surfing. The speed of the connection will vary depending on your provider and equipment.
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