Weaning off all microsoft “services”
Anyone familiar with a Zorin compatible alternative to Skype?
Here’s the catch:
looking for VOIP service where I can “buy” a U.S. telephone number; (where I can choose the area code)
for relatives to call/txt,SMS me in Poland.
Weaning off all microsoft “services”
If you’re looking to move away from Microsoft services and Skype while using Zorin (a flavor of Ubuntu), there are several VOIP services that allow you to buy a U.S. telephone number and choose your area code. Some of these services can be used directly on Linux platforms like Zorin or through web browsers:
- Google Voice : Although it’s not a Microsoft service, some might argue that moving to Google isn’t a huge leap in terms of corporate reliance. However, it’s a very functional and robust service. You can choose a U.S. number, and it works seamlessly with texting and calling. Google Voice works great in browsers, so it should work on Zorin.
- Twilio : This is a developer-centric platform, but they offer robust VOIP services. You can buy a U.S. number with an area code of your choice. They have APIs for integrating voice and messaging services into custom applications, but using it as a primary phone service might require a bit more setup than other options.
- Zoiper : It’s a VOIP softphone client that’s available for Linux. Pair it with a service that provides SIP credentials (like VoIP.ms or Callcentric), and you can receive and make calls on your Zorin machine.
- VoIP.ms : It’s a popular VOIP service provider. Once you sign up, you can buy a U.S. phone number and use SIP to integrate with softphones like Zoiper.
- Jitsi : An open-source video conferencing tool. While its main function isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, it does provide a VOIP call option.
- Wire : A secure, encrypted voice and chat application available for multiple platforms, including Linux. While its primary function isn’t for buying a U.S. number, it is an excellent alternative to Skype for voice and video calls.
Remember that while the applications above can be set up on Zorin, you will need to ensure that the chosen VOIP service provider supports the features you need, such as purchasing a U.S. number and sending/receiving SMS. It’s a good idea to review their terms, conditions, and costs before committing.
This foray into Linux land has been quite the edumacation!
First, discovered that VOIP is not necessarily a replacement for skype;
VOIP (as the name indicates) is Voice only - i.e. NOT video calling…
Perhaps VIOIP? (while musical in pronunciation, but, bordering on ridiculous)
No need for “video conferencing” with the entire neighborhood, or, the entire family, at once… (a highly dis-recommended idea)
Occasional calls from my PC in Poland to the U.S. are one-on-one, to relatives (not always with video) or specific parties (bank, the VA or customer service, etc. - i.e. never video)
Second, in addition to a VOIP/Video calling carrier/service, a “softphone” is required;
“Softphone” being an telephone-style app/interface for calling from your desktop;
Typically, with skype, the softphone app is downloaded and installed when creating a skype account. (softphone also includes controls/settings for Mic/Audio/webcam?)
Aside: Google Voice (with “DID number” aka the Stateside landline number) is not available in Poland… only for those residing in the U.S.
(first needed to figure out what a “DID” is… “SIP”, notwithstanding)
Before pulling the pin on VoIP (“Vee-oh-eye-pee”), slept on it, had a brain fart with first coffee - VoIP.ms does not offer Video calling;
Googled: “video calling app for zorin os” (vs. “VOIP”)
Ended up at “FossLinux”:
Then, Apache “OpenMeetings”; (Apache,Ubuntu, RedHat, BSD…?? etc. ad nauseam) Yet to discover if I need to get a “DID” elsewhere… or SIP, or…
Just don’t have the necessary Linux-lingo to ask the right questions.
Could really use a step-by-step Linux guide for us single-person user Windows10 refugees.
(i.e. NOT for building a global internet business empire, with hundreds of smiling faces on my screen; jus’ me, checkin’ e-mail, the news, YouToobin’, playin’ my “ripped” CD collection, Googlin’, webacmin’… ya know, normal Personal Computin’)
Perhaps Zorin developers could offer a “personal”/“home-use” version;
Many of these questions/barriers could be resolved with a question/answer session, during install (once after Internet connection has been established, this could be “online”)… just a thought. Most have little else to do while watching in front of their PC, as Zorin installs)
p.s. Trust me, with Win11 threatening to “Brick” a vast number of PCs, there will be a flood of Win10 refugees headed for Zorintopia… as myself.