For those of you not familiar with VoIP telephony it is a way of using the Internet to make cheap phone calls. There are three things you need: a broadband connection, a VoIP phone and a VoIP account.
Skype is probably the best know provider of VoIP accounts but there are others. The one we use is VoIPtalk who are a UK company. Just like with Skype, you can set up a VoIPtalk account free of charge and make free calls to other VoIPtalk users. You can of course buy credit to allow you to call landline phones. With a free account you get a 0870 number which people can call you on. Call rates to UK are 1.4p per minute
VoIPtalk also offer monthly packages the cheapest of which is the Silver Service. For £2.99 plus VAT per month you get a local UK number and reduced call costs. For example we have a local 0161 Manchester number. Current call costs are 0.9p at peak times, 0.5p evenings and 0.2p at weekends to Europe which are of course much cheaper than Telefonica's charges.
To take advantage of the service though you need a VoIP phone. Many of these have a USB connection that plugs into a port on your computer. Although very good, they obviously only work when the computer is switched on. Far more useful are the ones that connect directly to a broadband router. With these the phone is available even when the computer is switched off. They are not cheap though but I have a spare Grandstream 100 which I am willing to sell for half price at 30€. If you live locally and have a VoIPtalk account I will even set it up for you to make sure it is working properly before you buy.