NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2011
President' Corner
by Wes Eckles, President
(click to email author)

Free Internet Calls Without A Computer?

Free internet calls: There are a number of ways to make calls using the internet (VOIP). They require that the computer be on all of time in order to receive and make calls. Most of the vendors provide the service for a modest charge.

I read an article in Consumer Reports magazine about the "Ooma" (Who thought up that name?). I decided to research this gadget. You buy this box that connects directly to you broadband modem for $179 to $200. Then you go on line to activate and select moving your existing phone number to Ooma or get a new number. You are allowed 5000 outgoing minutes per month and reduced rates on foreign calls. Free is no longer free! You will be billed monthly to pay that long list of taxes and fees. There is a premium service for $120 per year that has great features.

If you have a simple computer setup with one computer and a router, installation can be done in about 20 minutes. If you have a complicated setup such as a local area network, installation can be done by experienced persons. I recommend that you read a review by Steve Bass. Go to "http://technologizer.com/2011/03/19/ooma-a-nifty-way-to-make-free-internet-calls/. You should also search Google for "ooma reviews". Users of Ooma report great satisfaction with the service. More facebook hacker tricks: When you click on a video a message appears telling you must have a new or updated codec before you can view the video. The codec can be a Trojan Antivirus. Norton Safe Web for Facebook is a good protection utility that is free at "safeweb.norton.com/lite". Free Google downloads: Go to "pack.google.com" for free programs that are very useful. Go to "earth.google.com" to learn about all about Google Earth 6. This download allows you to fly to any place around the world, see 3D buildings, imagery, and terrain, and find cities, places, and local businesses. The page has demonstrations of the features of Earth 6. Mystery toolbars are added to your web browser: While you have been browsing, a new toolbar is added to your browser. Spyware from the bad guys could be the source. What do you do? Don't use any of the mystery tool bar parts! Immediately scan your computer for malware. Then delete the toolbar if you don't want to use it. If you don't know how to delete the toolbar, go to start/help & support and search "toolbar". For browser: Did you know that you don't have to type "www." or ".com" in the url address space. For example, "www.example.com" can be entered as "example". This should work for most URL's. The July 2011 meeting will feature a discussion on CCleaner utility. Be sure to bring your pocket storage device, i.e., thumb drive, etc. to all meetings.

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