Gizmo - Free VoIP Calls to 60 Countries

Editors Note: The Gizmo VoIP software, which was acquired by Google in 2009, was discontinued in 2011. We've retained this article for historical purposes, but the software is no longer available. If you're looking for current VoIP software, Google Hangouts is one option you might find useful.

Gizmo is yet another VoIP software-based service that uses your broadband Internet connection to make calls to other computers and phones. It comes with a lot of ‘free’ stuff, including free calls to landline (PSTN) and mobile phones to people in 60 countries. To my liking, it arguably surpasses VoIPStunt in nearly all aspects and is of good-enough caliber to compete with Skype. Just like Skype, you have to download the Gizmo software and install it, and register for a new account.

What’s Free in Gizmo

Gizmo offers a lot of free things:

  • Free PC-to-PC calls to any other Gizmo user.
  • Free landline calls to landline and mobile phones over 60 countries.
  • Free voicemail service.

Gizmo surpasses Skype on giving the possibility of calling landline phones for free over 43 countries, and both landline and mobile phones for free in 17 countries.

Also, voicemail, which is the ability to send offline voice messages, is free with Gizmo, whatever be the destination; while for Skype, it is €5 for 3 months (around $4 US) and €15 (around $12.50 US) for one year. It however comes free with SkypeIn.

The Gizmo Prices

If you want to call people on their landline or mobile phones over destinations that are not free, you have to purchase credit for a service called Call Out. This service allows you to call for €0.017 ($0.021 US), which is slightly lower than that of Skype’s SkypeOut service - $0.01 US.

On the other hand, to receive calls from landline or mobile phones, you have to pay for a service called Call In, $12 for three months, which is 2 dollars higher than its Skype counterpart, SkypeIn.

Communication Technology Used

Gizmo uses SIP standard to connect and route calls, while Skype uses its own proprietary system, based on the P2P standard. Both have their advantages and disadvantages: P2P is more robust, while SIP interests companies more with its rich features. Since SIP is getting better and more popular, Gizmo has put many chances on its side by adopting SIP.

Quality is great with Gizmo, as it is with Skype. It all depends on your bandwidth and hardware.

Other Considerations

Gizmo allows conference calls, and surpasses Skype in that it imposes no limit on the number of call participants. Skype only allows five participants per call.

Gizmo is new on the market, and since its entry on the market, it has not been growing as fast as Skype did. Skype has gone past the hundred million subscriber line, which is far ahead of all other services of its type.

Gizmo exists in only one language: English. On the other hand, one of the great tastes of Skype is that you can meet and talk with people that speak 26 different languages. Skype forums are always full and rich.

The Gizmo user interface is rich and very attractive. Though Skype’s interface is very attractive as well, I personally feel Gizmo wins the look and feel battle over Skype.

How to Get Started With Gizmo?

  • Download and install the Gizmo software.
  • Register online, and get a user name.
  • Invite your friends worldwide and other people you want to communicate with and ask them to install Gizmo and register.
  • Ask them to enter their landline and mobile phone numbers in their profile, and do the same.
  • Now you’re talking!

Will Gizmo Stand Above Skype?

Gizmo seriously intends to take Skype’s place on the throne. The Gizmo home page carries a quote which is very meaningful:

“My new prediction is that within 18 months people will forget about Skype and will be using something open like Gizmo.”

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