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Thread: How do you call/text your family and friends back home?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Vermont, USA --> Wellington
    Posts
    159

    Default How do you call/text your family and friends back home?

    Seems like there are a lot of options out there now that both voice and text can be done over IP. Or maybe there are some wireless plans in NZ that have generous rates for international calling and texting? What's everybody doing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Nelson, NZ - from Boulder USA
    Posts
    292

    Default

    We kept our US number by porting it to VOIP with Callcentric.com - I pay about $6USD/mo to have a Colorado number that friends and family can call and through which we can call them. A nice side benefit is being able to call US 800 numbers and give a domestic number for any US purchasing we do. Since I can set times that calls go straight to voicemail as well as block anonymous calls, we don't get rung in the middle of the night or get telemarketing calls. Callcentric is just one provider, there are lots of others to consider.

    Skype, Facetime or other services would be an option but we wanted to make it as simple as possible for older relatives who don't feel as comfortable using online apps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland to Wellington
    Posts
    1,454

    Default

    I just use the telephone. We pay $25 a month extra on our phone bill with Telstra (now Vodafone) and we get unlimited calls to a number of countries. Or use facebook or skype.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hants, UK - Stanmore Bay, NZ
    Posts
    217

    Default

    I use WhatsApp for texts and pics by mobile/cell, Skype for video chats and have free international calls on our landline for those family and friends who aren't so technologically minded. Facebook also features heavily

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sandwich Islands
    Posts
    745

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    I used Skype for two years ($60 per year for a "local" US phone number) to receive calls, and I was using google to make calls...which at one point was free for outgoing calls to the US/Canada, but I think there is now a small charge. I recently switched to MagicJack plus. There is a small cost for hardware (I think I paid about $60, and this includes the first year of service)...subsequent years are $20 to $30 a year, depending on how many years you pay for at a time. This gets you a local US number, and free calls to the US and Canada. The quality (plugged directly into my modem) has been very good. Alternatively, it can be plugged into the USB port of a computer; this resulted in lower quality for me, though I have a pretty old computer. It also comes with a free smart phone app, so you can call US numbers from your phone. The quality for this feature is below average unless you have a very fast internet connection.

    I have used a few free apps on my cell phone for communicating with the US: Textplus (you get a US number, and can send/receive texts at no charge); Viber (texts and calls at no charge to other people with viber); Groove IP (allows you to call US numbers at no charge)...probably some others. For the most part, I just use facebook and email if I want to contact somebody from my cell phone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Takapuna
    Posts
    464

    Default

    My whole family is on Apple hardware so we use the free FaceTime app to iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,691

    Default

    We use Skype for free video calls. Most people see know overseas tend to leave skype on when their laptops are being used, so it's no different to using a phone for us.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Takapuna
    Posts
    464

    Default

    Looking forward to the BBM app being released for iOS and Android later this month, I have a couple of good friends still on BlackBerry replacing email/Facebook with them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Francisco to Auckland
    Posts
    626

    Default

    G-Mo, thanks for the tip on the BBM app. We use facetime for most of our commuications too, but there are a couple of friends still on Androids. Glad to know this app is coming. Cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Takapuna
    Posts
    464

    Default

    There's already a number of cross platform messaging apps (WhatsApp), but I've avoided them so far. BBM I will download, it's coming June 26 I think.

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