Yahoo Messenger's Voice Calling Service

The Bottom Line

Yahoo Voice is part of the very popular Yahoo Messenger IM application and service, and as its name implies, it allows you to phone people worldwide either through PC-to-PC calls or PC-to-phone calls. Yahoo Voice uses VoIP technology and the outward calling part is handled by its partner Jajah. Yahoo is a serious competitor to other VoIP software-based services, especially Skype and Windows Live Messenger. Its strong points are its great popularity, openness with community chatting and its cheap rates for PC-to-Phone calling.

Pros

  • One of the cheapest prices for worldwide PC-to-phone calling, starting at 1 cent per minute.
  • Has chat communities where many people can meet and talk.
  • Offers video conferencing and has easy and enhanced voice conferencing features with the software.
  • Simple voicemail.
  • Works on some mobile phones.

Cons

  • Call quality, while relatively fair, isn’t quite as good as e.g. Skype.
  • The application is quite heavy on the resources.

Description

  • Is incorporated with the very popular Yahoo Messenger software.
  • Users can make completely free voice and video calls over the Internet through the Yahoo Messenger software.
  • Enhanced voice conferencing and video conferencing.
  • Cheap international rates.

Guide Review - Yahoo Voice Review - Yahoo Messenger's Voice Calling Service

 

This review won’t cover all the aspects of the well-known Yahoo! Messenger, which is loaded with features. I’ll rather focus on the voice and video communication part of it, the one based on Voice over IP.

Yahoo Messenger allows completely free voice and video calling, as is possible with most of the VoIP softphones around like Skype. For this, both (or all, in case of conferencing) users needs to have good Internet connection and the necessary hardware like a headset and/or a webcam. The service is free only for PC-to-PC calls.

The paid part of the service, Yahoo Voice, is offered in partnership with Jajah, which caters for the VoIP termination part. This service is among the cheapest ones on the market. Calls to US destinations cost 1 cent per minute and 2 cents for some common destinations, mainly in Europe. Overall, the rates are on average cheaper than those of Skype, which charges some extra fees.

However, Yahoo Voice call quality, while being fair, isn’t as good as Skype’s as the latter has better quality mechanisms. But if you have a good Internet connection and the right hardware configuration, the Yahoo voice experience isn’t that bad.

You can also buy a phone number, which can be used to make call-forwarding. Such a so-called Phone In number costs $2.49 per month. Upon receiving a call, if you are not logged in or are not willing to answer, the call goes directly to voicemail. This is easier than with Skype, which requires a subscription first.

Yahoo is socially more open than Skype and many other softphones, in that it is among the very few that allow public chatting on large scale. Personally, I find Yahoo chat rooms disgusting at times with the lack of moderation and filth injected by participants, but it is an easy way to socialize. This also gives Yahoo an edge that others do not have – the multi-party voice sessions, where you can talk to dozens of other people. Moreover, the application is made in such a way that this becomes very easy, with even a Talk button and hands-free option.

Finally, like skype, Yahoo Messenger and hence the Yahoo Voice service is also supported on a number of mobile phones, including Apple’s iPhone and BlackBerry.