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If saving money is more important to you than consistent call quality, then PC-phone dialing offers a very low cost alternative to a long distance carrier and is easy and convenient.
The best known service is Skype-Out, current phone rates are shown on the website at skype.com.
If you prefer the peace of mind that an unlimited plan provides or don't have a broadband connection, another option is OPEX Family Click2Dial, offered for about $10 a month. To use this service, all you do is visit the company website, dial the number from a dialpad and pick up your phone when it rings. If you do have dial-up Internet service, you will have to have a separate phone line to receive the call.
Other providers of PC-phone services include Yahoo, Net2phone, PCCall, Firefly and VBuzzer. Calls are made using a computer headset or USB phone for most of these services.