American in Spain

Four Reasons To Use Gizmo

February 1, 2007

Gizmo Project is a piece of VoIP (Voice Over IP) software that allows you to talk to people over the internet. Like its chief competitor, Skype, it has the capability to call landlines. I will now give you four reasons why Gizmo is better than Skype.

Reason 1

Gizmo's rates for calling landlines are still a little bit higher than Skype's, but Gizmo has an All Calls Free program that lets you call landlines of your other Gizmo contacts for free. They have recently deemed me worthy (you have to use Gizmo enough) of participation in the program. This means that I can call any other ACF member's home or mobile phone (as they have them set in their Gizmo profile) for free. I tested it yesterday, calling a colleague's mobile phone. It cost me nothing. We could have talked for hours and hours absolutely free.

Reason 2

Gizmo uses an open, standard VoIP protocol, called SIP. Most all VoIP providers also use SIP. This means that you can receive calls phones from other VoIP networks using the SIP protocol (estimated at 2.5 billion phones). So if you have any business partners or friends that use VoIP phones (and if you don't yet, you will soon), you will be able to receive calls from them on your computer.

My employer recently got VoIP phones installed in the office, and they can call me all the way in Spain just by dialing my extension in their local system.

Reason 3

Free voice mail. Skype makes you pay for voice mail. Gizmo provides it free. If you receive a call when you are not around or do not have Gizmo open on your computer, the caller can leave a voice mail message and their message will be emailed to you in a compressed wav file. How easy is that?

Reason 4

A free "call in" number. Skype has this too, but it's not free. Gizmo will give you a free 775 area code (that's the area code for Nevada outside of Las Vegas) telephone number, so that anyone with a regular phone can call you, even if you're in Spain, for the price of a call to Nevada (if you want mine, and I know you, just ask). You can also choose to pay a small fee and get a phone number in another area code. If you did most of your business in one specific region, but often traveled away from that region, you could get a number in that area code and receive calls on your computer via Gizmo.

Gizmo also does chatting, like Skype, but it does not yet do video conferencing.