StanaPhone is the first free telephone with real US phone numbers, and a Skype competitor.It allows you to call and receive calls from regular home & mobile phones as well as place free calls to and receive them from any StanaPhone number, regardless of its location. All incoming calls to StanaPhone are free, there is free unlimited Voicemail via email, call forwarding, free and unlimited outgoing calls to other StanaPhone numbers.
The big difference with Skype is that with StanaPhone you get a real phone number, it’s SIP (and so Gnomemeeting should work with the Stanaphone service), supports calling forwarded accounts, but some say that Skypeout offers better quality for non-US destinations.
StanaPhone’s application is based on SJLabs‘ Java software and hopefully its Linux & Mac OS X versions will be backported to StanaPhone’s forked version too and maybe a PalmOS version will be developed as well (Skype doesn’t do PalmOS because it requires a 300 Mhz CPU and only 2-3 PalmOS devices are that fast, plus PalmOS 5.x has some serious multitasking problems that are only resolved on PalmOS 6.x). Currently, only Windows and Pocket PC versions are available for StanaPhone, however because their software is based on SIP and there are free SIP clients for all platforms, it is considered a platform-independant solution.
while a great quality and feature rick product, especialy for a beta, they lack the wide spread operating system suport. and you know skype is just cooler The first one of them to make an official SkyOS port will be the one that completly wins me over. (come on Skype, you share the first 3 letters of your name with SkyOS…dont you think thats some kind of sign)
“they lack the wide spread operating system suport.”
Hmm.. Stanaphone uses SIP which is a standard, so you can use their service with any SIP-compatible softphone, on any operating system. Beside that, they use the gsm codec which is free and unpatented. You can even use hard ip-phones with stanaphone.
Sounds much more open than Skype for me.
By the way I use it on GNU/Linux.
Yup, Stanaphone can be used with Gnomemeeting and there are some SIP softphones for MacOSX too (including SJLabs’ own version). So they are certainly more open and more well-supported than Skype. It should even work with Zaurus or other GPE Linux environment: http://www.minisip.org/screenshots.html
SIP is the best, but I prefer http://sipphone.com/xtenpro/ on Windows.
Eugenia, I think you are wrong when you say “StanaPhone is the first free telephone with real US phone numbers”.
Michael Robertson’s SIPPhone has been offering real numbers for a long time:
Yeah, but it ain’t free. It costs $6.
http://www.ipkall.com gives you a free US number to use with FreeWorldDialup (also free)
Sure there is a hack to it.
If they couldn’t be bothered
Why should we?
has a much better website too.
Did you bother reading a few comments upward ?
ermmm …… Skype is cool but there are a lot more Voip SIP providers and they have better call rates too.
Linux has(usable) soft-phones:
* sipXphone from SIPfoundry, previously known as the Pingtel phone
* X-Lite/Pro in beta
and more here > http://www.voip-info.org/wiki-VOIP+Phones#id718116
2.90¢ US to call australia?? um no its not
The two things skype has really going for are:
1) multi-platform with same feature set
2) more importantly it works like butter through all kinds of firewalls. SIP phones require to open certain ports (if it doesn’t support STUN) and thus you might be out of luck to use it in environments where you don’t have access or permissions to the firewall configuration (especially at work).
Their costumer support is simply non-existing and i’ve tried to add funds to my account numerous times for a period of weeks until i gave up. I dont plan on going back to them for server ever, from my previous experience.
Um, yeah it is free. I have 2 SIP Phone numbers which I do recieve calls on and have never paid for them. Plus the integration with GAIM just plain rocks.
i remember back in about 1999 when Yahoo and others offered this as a free service..
I tried it a couple times.
“Um, yeah it is free. I have 2 SIP Phone numbers which I do recieve calls on and have never paid for them. Plus the integration with GAIM just plain rocks.”
Can someone with a land line call your SIP number?
If not, what’s the cheapest service offering POTS to net mapping? (SIP or not)
nothing special, nothing new.
on the other hand we have skype which is based on p2p (as in filesharing), encrypts all traffic and works right out of the box. and it’s so very cross-platform with linux packages for the most common distributions (suse, mandrake, fedora, debian). works totally good on ubuntu
then who pays for the calls? (I guess phone companies charge for the switch from internet->real phoneline)
Anyway, Skype runs on my Mac, and it does it well, although I’m kinda angry at the Skype guys for not accepting my VISA card, so I had to use a European credit card and pay 15% added tax! Also, they didn’t bother to answer my problem reports at all. So if you want service, Skype sucks balls!
Stanaphone was my second choice after Skype let me down rather badly on the SkypeOut stakes.
I tried for about 2 hours to buy credit with Skype and chatted to “live support”, which I gather is an outsourced concern who do everything by the book.
Eventually, they blocked my VISA card.
After some searching, I came across StanaPhone.
It works and I can buy credit – the one thing I like is that there is a very low set limit, unlike Skype which I believe is 10euro ? (someone correct me if I’m wrong)
I was able to buy just $5 US of credit which was cheap enough for me to experiment with (I live in a third world country)
I made a few calls to landlines, but couldn’t hook into a mobile successfully – possibly incorrect call codes I was using.
The software I found a bit buggy – it would hang every so often and actually managed to crash windows at one point, or at least, render it to all intents and purposes lifeless – I wasn’t about to wait to see if XP came out of it’s tail spin or whether it really had crashed.
Still, after my rotten Skype experience (to which I admit I got unreasonably angry and attacked the skype forum with vitriol after one too many beers) I think Stanaphone could be a contender for at least the SkypeOut segment of the market.
Skype should seriously investigate the problems people are having buying credit as I’ve found there are a LOT of people having issues.
In terms of support, I haven’t tried StanaPhone, but I really despise Skypes support – not a single contact address , just the “live support”
I actually asked the “live support” if I was chatting with a bot, such were the bog-standard responses to my issues.
It was literally like talking to a brick wall, we went round and round and round the same subject about my VISA card issues until I gave up.
noone with a regular telephone would want to call US from Sweden just to reach me =P
I use http://www.rixtelecom.se, 75 sek/month but you can call as much as you want to regular land phones in Sweden.
I use skype on Mac and Windows and am very happy with the sound quality and the recently released version 1.0 for the Mac, pretty stable now, so I don’t see a reason why I should abandon skype now in favor of this.
One of the things that Skype has going for it is excellent sound quality, better than anything I’ve tried so far.
Also I use SJPhone which I think is better than the free Xen(?) X-lite, doesn’t look that great thought.
I would use skype aswell if I got a phone number for incoming phone calls but you don’t, I think? Also versions for “most linux dists” isn’t enough for me.
Regarding sound quality I think Skype uses iLBC which I can use with SJPhone + rix aswell, my sound quality is quite crappy thought, much worse than with Bredbandsbolagets phones.
Just what happened to me!!
And if they can’t even accept a US-VISA card, something’s wrong there!
(But then VISA is global and should work from other countries, as well)
As soon as my €10 on Skype run out, I hope the competitors will have a product for the Mac… I don’t intend to rebuy.
Sound quality? I’m not gonna argue or use harsh words.
I’ll just say – I had a different experience with skype.
My flatmate wanted to use Skype to talk to her friend in Netherlands. She used my computer for that, so I helped her out a bit. Connection was created OK, but they simply could not talk. She wouldn’t here half of what he said. The samples were simply dropped along the line.
Then I talked her into using VoIP (using LinPhone) via fwd.pulver.com, as I had experience with that already. The guy on the other side had it running in like 15 minutes, including downloading software for his platform (no idea what sw he chose, what platform he has and I don’t really care , registering at fwd.pulver.com and getting it all running. The voice quality was similar to using a GSM mobile phone. Latency as well.
Before somebody starts telling me “it’s because of your bandwidth!”, a) VoIP worked flawlessly, b) 4Mbps/0.5Mbps cable connection is more than enough for one voice channel.
Other details with Skype – the interface did not strike me as intuitive (what does chat do in a phone program anyway – I could have stayed with my old IM client for that . And using Qt, which I don’t use at all, it looked quite bad compared to the rest of my gtk+-2 applications. It even used some un-aliased fonts!
So much for my personal and subjective Skype vs. VoIP shoot-out. VoIP wins all the way.
“Did you bother reading a few comments upward ?”
which part of
Not As Linux ready
don’t you understand?
Does Skype really use Qt?
On the Mac it looks really good; but maybe they just redid the interface for the Mac and use Qt for the other platforms…
“sure except noone with a regular telephone would want to call US from Sweden just to reach me =P ”
of course neither in Italy (here we have other similar services, like messagenet.it, squillo.it, parla.it and so on)
“which part of
Not As Linux ready
don’t you understand?”
For me, the ability to use ANY sip client on ANY architecture make the service much more linux-ready than Skype.
Linux is not x86 only..
They would benefit a great deal from showing step by step how their service could be used with an ATA adaptor so that no computer was required.
Has anyone seriously noticed the difference in sound quality between Skype and SIP based protocols?? I tried many of these SIP clients in the past with GSM/G.711 and even Speex. I dropped all of them “like it’s hot”. Skype’s proprientry audio protocol is way ahead of these other protocols and uses less bandwidth. Speex may be the exception but still was not as good. Then the issue of NAT traversal – Skype wins again. Unfortunately until SIP has access to better audio codecs (new ones) it will not get my vote. G.722, G.722.1 or even G.728 are much better options but are not free. I am all for SIP but Skype has nailed the two most important aspects of VoIP today – sound quality and NAT traversal.
There is a hardware config page with all the required parameters once you’re a registered user.
I just discovered that I wasted my money ($5) by signing up for stanaphone. First it does not work with my company’s proxy. second it cost me 25 cents a minute to call Africa. My AT&T voice over IP phone costs only 12 cents to Africa and is infrastructure independent. So now I can only use stanaphone when I am not logged into my company’s network (after 5 pm) and my per minute rate is over 2x that for AT&T on international calls. I don’t know when I will learn the lesson
that there is no such thing as a free lunch
I tried stanaphone a couple of times calling from my computer to a regular phone. The sound quality was so bad I would not bother again. The receipients reported hearing something akin to a jet engine in the background. Other VoIP programs give very good sound quality on the same hardware.