I finally got my first call from my Washington, USA number. VPN is one of the many powerful features of VoIP. It’s called virtual because there’s no actual telephone set connected to that number. Instead, when somebody calls that number, it’s my VoIP phone here in the Philippines that rings. My VoIP setup is stand-alone, it no PCs needed and it only consumes 5W. I can leave it running for 24/7! So the setup is just like an ordinary phone.
But it didn’t work at first. I found out later that I made a mistake in entering my SIP account details. Then, I made a test call, using my VoIP gateway where I only pay less than 2 U.S. cents per minute. Thanks, my IP phone rang. I know it works but I want another person calling me. So, I posted to our (frat) chapter’s email group. I said “… say hello to me.”. In less than 15 minutes, my IP phone rang. “Hello, brod. This is Brod Ompong. How are you brod? … “. It’s a big surprise because I have no contact with him since my junior years. He was interested because they’re frequently call their relatives here in the Philippines. With my setup, they only spend less than $0.02/minute instead of $0.16. In his case, it was even free!
We had a long talk. He’s residing in Connecticut and there’s no Filipino community there. So I understand why he lost his Filipino accent – which you cannot sense in emails. Inspite of that I’m still happy because he’s the same person – the familiar accent might be lost but not the heart.
Now I include my Washington number in all my email signatures. Email or chatting is great. I have no problem with them. But conversing over the phone is more personal, more enjoyable and easy for my dinosaur friends/relatives!
The power of VoIP is still unkown to many. Thru VPN, my sisters abroad are calling me for free instead of spending $0.16 per minute. It’s much cheaper than getting a $20 call card for 60 minutes. VPN is very useful for business. A Philippine-based company can post USA/UK/HK/etc. numbers for their clients. The difficult part is setting up an IP phone here. For those who would like to install one, you visit my guide on Setting up a stand-alone IP phone.
I got my free virtual number from IPkall.com but ony for Washington state. If you like numbers in other places or commercial purposes you can buy them from many providers like Callcentric (with assistance support in the Philippines).