The Skype is a good thing. While it has the mass of advantages, unfortunately, it has inherent limitations too.
In particular, for security reasons, some companies restrict the use of this means of communication.
And it often distracts, because it does not help to the concentrated work if you have got a bunch of friends and acquaintances who are here, at hand, and are always online.
In addition, for a number of categories of calls to fixed numbers and mobile phones, prices bites.
Therefore, Voice over IP technology (VoIP), or, more simply, IP telephony, is in demand.
Fortunately, the prices of calls here is much more modest - whether it will be a call to a city number on the same street or to a mobile phone in another country, and the availability of free calls is very attractive.
At the same time, for communication in a local network, IP telephony is not needed, but you can use chat programs, for example, the popular LAN Messenger.
In order to avoid using expensive terminals for VoIP, which are at the price of about 600 USD, software phones or softphones were developed. One of the most effective and well-proven product is X-lite.
X-lite VoIP softphone - the program overview
This software allows you to make voice and video calls, both with one interlocutor, and in conference mode.
After installation of the program, that occurs in the automatic mode, the user must configure it using the data received from the telephony provider.
Typically, this is the domain address, user's login and password.
Sometimes, in addition, you have to configure audio and video codecs (choosing preferred ones from the suggested list), but this is the exception.
After entering the data received from the provider, you are ready to use IP-telephony and can start making calls.
The user interface of X-lite softphone
Functionally, the main window of the program is divided into 3 areas: on the left is the display area of the video link, on the right - the call manager and the contact list.
Like some other VoIP softphones, as well as Skype, X-lite supports work with statuses.
In addition, the program provides the opportunity to create your own statuses yourself, in order to use them along with standard ones.
The program interface is quite compact, although it is filled with various controls. At the same time, all the tools are placed thoughtfully. The entire necessary arsenal of controls is always at hand:
In the main window of the program, right next to the keyboard, there is the volume control of the speakers and microphone sensitivity.
For dialing a number, by the way, you can use a regular PC keyboard. In the main window, there are a number of useful tools that allow you to hold a call, record it, or organize a conference. Here is the answerphone and the "Redial" button.
The program is undemanding to resources. In the video communication mode, the load on the system is practically not felt.
Summarizing all of the above, X-lite is a very convenient program, it features simplicity, reliability and a beautiful user interface.
The program is free, the X-lite distribution is available for download at http://www.counterpath.com/x-lite-download. The size of the installation file is about 10 MB.