PeerMe - Free VoIP Softphone and Service

PeerMe Client.

PeerMe Intro:

PeerMe is a free communication tool and service that is quite easy to setup and use through its softphone client. The softphone is enriched with many other features that make it more than a softphone: instant messaging, video conferencing etc. You can also use their web interface or download the special versions for WAP and mobile phones. PeerMe is shaping its future by constantly innovating with features.

Brief Description / Pros:

  • Multi-party video conferencing (up to 4 buddies).
  • Downloadable softphone client, but also web-based browser version, mobile (WAP) version for mobile phones and JAVA-based mobile version.
  • Has a voice tag that can be added to your website through which people can contact you at a click.
  • Includes photo-upload and file-sharing tool.
  • Supports other common networks like Yahoo, AOL, and MSN.
  • Has a language exchange mechanism

Cons:

  • Has only PC-to-PC service. No calls to or from hardware-based phones and PSTN.
  • Has only basic features. Voicemail lacking.

More About PeerMe:

PeerMe shines over its other competitors like Skype, Gizmo, and others, on two things: it has a multi-party video conferencing feature and it has a mobile java and mobile browser-based version for mobile phones.

Another interesting feature (which is web-based) is the search for buddies over a language exchange adventure.

You enter your search criteria and you get the list of other users who share the same language interests. PeerMe also allows you (through generated codes) to place a voice tag on your web page, in the form of a button, which users can click on to start either a voice call or video conferencing session with you.

PeerMe has only basic features that should suffice for most users, but I was expecting it to have voicemail too.

PeerMe Supports Networks Like Yahoo!, MSN and AOL

Like many other softphones today, PeerMe supports other common networks like Yahoo!, MSN and AOL. PeerMe users P2P technology, like Skype. As I mentioned above, PeerMe is also good for mobile users. Users with simple mobile phones can have the browser-based mobile version installed on their phones and use WAP to access the service.

Those with more advanced phones can have the mobile Java-based version installed, which comes with more features. The Java version allows, among others, one-click photo upload, which is practical for photo sharing. PeerMe also allows file sharing between clients online. PeerMe has opened part of their APIs (application programming interfaces) for skilled users to add more functionality to their PeerMe service.

PeerMe Free for Calls

PeerMe is completely free for calls. This is possible because all it allows is PC-to-PC software-based calls. With PeerMe, you cannot call to or receive calls from PSTN or hardware-based phones. You can, however, do so with mobile phones that have the PeerMe client installed, but again it is software-based, through the Internet or WAP.

There is no phone number.

The video conferencing, on its part, is not free. It is, as of the day I am writing this, $10 a month for a one-year subscription. If you want to try, you can do so for only two weeks at $10. The video conferencing tool also allows you to record the sessions.

Concerning the voice quality, there has been some complaint about it in the past, but now it has been considerably improved. P2P helps a lot in it. And then, if they can hold multi-party conferencing, voice is well-covered.