From bobrankin@MHV.NET Tue Nov 18 13:49:30 1997
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 01:53:02 -0500
From: Bob Rankin 
Subject: TOURBUS - 18 Nov 1997 - Net2Phone

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           TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Net2Phone

You've probably heard of those "internet phone" software packages.  You
know, the ones that let you carry on a voice conversation with another
Internet user.  It's a nifty way to talk long-distance without paying
the phone company a nickel.

Up until recently, all this Internet phone stuff was a geek-to-geek
thing.  It's been a requirement that both parties have a computer equipped
with sound capability, microphone, special software and an Internet
connection in order to play the game.  Today's TOURBUS issue spotlights
a new product called Net2Phone that adds a twist to Internet telephony.
But first, visit today's sponsors and tell 'em the Bus brought you!

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Net2Phone is a new technology which makes it possible to place domestic
or international calls from a PC to any telephone in the world.  Unlike
traditional internet telephony packages, the person you call does NOT
need to have a PC - just a regular telephone.  And yes, there's even a
Mac version!

Calls placed through Net2Phone are not free, but you can save a lot of
money, especially if you're calling internationally.  According to IDT,
the company that provides the service, you can save up to 95% off the
rate you'd normally pay.


For example, you can call the U.S. from anywhere in the world for 10 or
15 cents per minute, depending on the time of day.  Wanna call Spain from
Sri Lanka?  42 cents/minute.  Germany from Guam?  26 cents/minute.  Or
how about calling England from Ethiopia?  Just 18 cents per minute!

Actually some calls are free.  Using Net2Phone, anyone in the world can
call toll-free 800 or 888 numbers in the U.S. for free.  That's cool,
because most people outside the U.S. cannot call 800/888 numbers, and if
they can, they must pay an access fee.  With Net2Phone the 800/888 numbers
become universal toll-free numbers, accessible from anywhere in the


The caller does need a sound-equipped computer, a microphone, and the
free Net2Phone software to place a call.  The recipient needs only an
ordinary telephone.  Call placed with Net2Phone are sent over the Internet
to IDT's central phone switch, which relays the call to any telephone in
the world.  According to IDT, you get "real time, full duplex voice
communication with True Phone quality."  Translation:  Both parties can
talk and listen at the same time, just like you'd expect.

With Net2Phone, any phone can be reached from a PC.  Gone is the clunky
PC-to-PC technology which requires both parties to have multimedia computers
and identical telephony software.  And both parties don't have to be online
at the same time either.  Only the caller needs a PC with a direct Internet

If you have a standard "SLIP" or "PPP" account with an Internet service
provider, you're all set.  America Online users with the latest (v3.0)
software should have no problem either.  If you have older AOL software,
you'll need to download a file called "winsock.dll".  Use keyword WINSOCK
for more information.  NetCom users, be sure you have NetCrusier 2.0, which
you can get for free from Netcom.  CompuServe users should be OK as long as
you have the latest dialer software.  If you have trouble, download the
new dialer from  Users with
e-mail or text-based Internet accounts, you're out of luck, sorry.


You can make free calls to 800 or 888 numbers with Net2Phone all day and
all night if you like.  For other calls, you need to set up a debit account
with IDT first.  You can use a secure online form to purchase $25 blocks
of phone time using a credit card, send a check by mail, or use wire

When you place a call, Net2Phone will tell you how much money is left in
your debit account, and how long you can talk.  If you run out of phone
time, you can recharge your account at any time.

Just for the record, I don't have any business relationship with IDT,
except that I've downloaded the Net2Phone software and created my own
customer account.  They didn't pay me to write about Net2Phone - I just
thought it was a cool service that you'd all like to know about.

However, if you decide to sign up, enter 4723-0756-6774 in the "Referral
Information" field, and I'll get a one-time credit.  They don't say what
kind of credit, but I'll donate free phone time that results to a worthy
non-profit cause.

See you next time!  --Bob

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