Vyke

VoIP Service For Cheap International Calls

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Vyke VoIP service gives you the possibility to make cheap international calls in many different ways. The rates are quite interesting; with a package that costs 25 cents for an hour on calls to 25 countries. You can use Vyke service on your PC, with your mobile phone and even using your traditional landline phone. Vyke supports a huge list of mobile phone models and types, including the iPhone, iPad, Android phones, BlackBerry phones, and Nokia phones.

Vyke offers no free call and it is only a voice service. No video call is possible.

Pros

  • Cheap international rates, among the cheapest on the market
  • Multiple ways of using the service, including on a PC, on mobile phones, an using landline phones
  • Many mobile handsets supported
  • Calls made through Wi-Fi, 3G and Callthrough

Cons

  • No free calls between users of Vyke
  • No version for Mac and Linux operating systems
  • No video calls

 

Review

The interesting thing with Vyke is that it offers a nearly complete service for international calls, and makes them cheap to you in many situations, whether you are at home or on the move. One big reason to choose Vyke is the price of calls.

We need to mention first that Vyke does not offer free calls like most (that’s nearly all) other VoIP service providers offer – the calls are free when they are between people using the same service. If Vyke is not a service for those seeking free communication, it is interesting for those looking for cheap alternatives to worldwide calls.

Free calls within the service are kind of subsidized by the paid calls, which makes the latter more expensive. So, when a service offers no free call, the cheap calls are really cheap. This is the case with Vyke.

Let’s take a look at the rates. There is a list of countries in the VykeZone: Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, USA and Venezuela.

When you call to these countries, you don’t pay per minute, but you are charged on the rate of 25 cents per hour. That brings the per-minute price to less than half a cent. You won’t find cheaper than that on the market, but then it is to only a handful of countries.

For other destinations, and for VykeZone countries beyond the one hour mark, every minute (or 60 seconds, as they consider it) is charged at rates mostly in handful of cents, except for remote destinations to which communication is always expensive. Check the Vyke rates there. There are no connection fees (as is the case with Skype), but 3G users need to include the price for their data plan in their calculations.

Vyke also offers SMS service. You can send the text messages from your PC or your mobile phone. An SMS costs 4p whatever be the destination and from wherever you are sending it. This represents a improvement over SMS cost in many countries where the price is at times higher than that of a minute of phone call.

When you register for a Vyke account, your username is your phone number, prefixed with your country and area code. You use that and a password to enter your account where you have information on your credit, your call history, plus some features that allow you to manage your funds and calls.

To use the service on your PC, download it for free from there. Only Windows users can do that as there is no app for Mac and Linux for now. Use your credentials to log into your new app and start making calls. The VoIP app for PC is very light on resources and works smoothly, but it only has very basic features. Somewhat too basic to my taste, especially after having gotten used to more sophisticated interfaces. Anyhow, it is light and it just works. I had some problems establishing a call through the PC app and as a result could not hold any conversation. It seems to have problems getting my voice into the stuff.

Quality isn’t the strong point there, but the destination I called to wasn’t in the VykeZone, in which the calls have better voice quality. However, the call worked very well with good voice quality when I tried (over the same Wi-Fi hotspot) on my Android phone to the same destination.

This brings us to the mobile part of the service. Vyke has a client app for most mobile phone out there, including Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Android phones, BlackBerry machines, Nokia machines and all other Symbian phones etc. I tried the Android app and it worked nicely, better than the PC version. Your current credit balance is always showed on your softphone app, whether it be on PC or mobile phone. You are also shown the number of minutes for which you can hold a conversation based on the destination you are calling to and on the amount of credit remaining on your account. You can also use your phone itself to top up your account.

Vyke allows users to use Wi-Fi and 3G for making calls using mobile phones. However, as at now, only iPhone users can use 3G for the calls. There is no caller ID with the service; when the phone or your contact rings, a British number shows. There is also no way for you to receive calls through Vyke. Besides, you don’t even get a number with the service.

You can also use Vyke with your regular landline phone. First, you need to register your phone number in your account page online. Then, whenever you want to make a call, you use your landline phone and dial an access number. This call will end and after some seconds, your phone will ring, and during that call, you will dial your contact’s number and your conversation will take place. The rate for this is slightly higher than for purely VoIP calls over your mobile phone or PC.

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