Features and Advantages
If you already have a home phone and an instant-messaging program you like, you may be wondering why in the world you'd want a program like Google Talk. There's one easy answer. This program, like the others covered here, is free.
Free isn't everything, however, there's more to Google Talk than just the fact that the program itself is the ultimate bargain. Probably the most compelling reason to use it is that it also reduces the amount of money that you spend on long-distance telephone calles, even if you don't want to do away with your home phone service completely.
In an office setting, especially one that involves offices in other areas or countries, Google Talk can greatly reduce the cost of communication between locations. FOr example, if your company has offices in Houston and Miami, you can install Google Talk on all of the employees' computers to enable employees to make calls between the offices for free.
The same holds true for calls to other countries, or even telephone service in your home. Google Talk works like many other VoIP (Voice over Interet Protocol) programs, such as Skype and Vonage's soft phone. Software provides the tools with which to have a telephone conversation. And the Internet provides the method by which the call is transported.
The result is that you can make phone calls that travel from one place to another via the Intere, and it doesn't cost you a dime. It doesn't matter if those calls are going to the oppostie side of the world, or the next office.
Google Talk is currently available only to between Google Talk subscribers. Anyone you call using Google Talk must have a Google Talk account -- you can call people who have other VoIP accounts or who use traditional telephone service.
You might also want to use Google Talk because there's no limit on that use, as there is on some other VoIP services. Skype does have a free version of it's VoIP service, but as with Google, you can only call other Skype users.