How to Make Phone Calls From Your Home Computer

Making phone calls from your home computer is a convenient way to communicate without being tied to your mobile device. With the right apps and equipment, you can make calls over the internet using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology.

Benefits of Making Calls from a Computer

There are several advantages to using your computer as a phone:

  • Hands-free experience – Using a headset allows you to move around while on calls rather than having a phone glued to your ear. This is much more comfortable for lengthy conversations.
  • Better audio quality – Computer microphones and speakers often provide superior sound compared to mobile devices. This leads to clearer call quality for both parties.
  • Save money – VoIP calls over the internet tend to cost less than traditional long-distance phone calls. Many services even allow free calls.
  • More features – VoIP call services include extra features like voicemail transcription, call recording, conference calling, and more.

Equipment/Software You Need

To start making calls from your home computer, you’ll need:

  • Computer – This can be a Windows PC or Mac. You’ll also want to make sure you have a reliable, high-speed internet connection.
  • Microphone and Speakers – Most computers have built-in mics and speakers, but you may prefer a headset for better sound quality and a hands-free experience. Many VoIP services are compatible with Bluetooth headsets too.
  • VoIP Service – Examples include Skype, Google Voice, RingCentral, Vonage, etc. These services allow internet-based calling.
  • VoIP App – Install the app for your VoIP service on your computer. This will allow you to make and receive calls.

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to start making calls from your home computer:

  1. Pick a VoIP Service – Select an app like Skype or Google Voice and create an account. Take advantage of any free trials or discounts when signing up.
  2. Install VoIP App – Download the app for your VoIP service on your computer. For example, install the Skype desktop app on a Windows PC or Mac.
  3. Set Up Microphone/Speakers – Allow the VoIP app to access your microphone and speaker devices on your computer. For best audio quality, use a headset.
  4. Add Contacts – Import contacts from your email and other sources to your VoIP app. This allows you to easily call your contacts from your computer.
  5. Obtain a Phone Number – Some VoIP services will provide you with a free phone number to receive calls. Alternatively, you can pay a small fee to select a custom number with your area code.
  6. Start Making Calls – Open your VoIP app on your computer, find the contact you want to call, and click the “Call” button. Some apps even allow you to dial phone numbers directly.

Tips for Making VoIP Calls from a Computer

Here are some top tips for making phone calls over the internet using your home computer:

  • Test your microphone, speakers, and internet connection to ensure smooth call quality before an important call.
  • Adjust the microphone volume in your computer’s sound settings if your caller has trouble hearing you.
  • Use ethernet instead of WiFi for faster internet speeds which prevent lag and disruptions during calls.
  • Position your microphone close enough to pick up your voice, but not so close that it captures background noise or pops from breathing.
  • Let your contacts know you are calling from your computer so they understand any sound quality issues.
  • Take advantage of features like call recording and voicemail transcription for added convenience.
  • Use a headset for best performance and so you can walk away from your computer while on a call.

With the right VoIP service, application, and computer setup, you’ll be making and receiving calls from your PC in no time. Reach out to friends and family worldwide at very little cost.

Recommended VoIP Services for Home Use

Here are my top recommendations for VoIP home phone services to use on your computer:

1. Skype

  • Free computer-to-computer calls
  • Inexpensive rates for calls to mobiles and landlines
  • Call recording
  • Mobile app allows calls on the go

2. Google Voice

  • Free phone number provided
  • Low international rates
  • Visual voicemail
  • Spam call blocking

3. Vonage

  • Unlimited calling within the US
  • International plans available
  • WiFi calling feature
  • Advanced call forwarding

4. Ooma Office

  • Very low monthly fees
  • Unlimited calling within the US
  • Enhanced call blocking security
  • Ring multiple devices

I suggest comparing features and pricing to choose the best home VoIP provider for your needs. Most services offer free trials so you can test call quality. Prioritize picks with strong security, call clarity, and an easy-to-use interface.