The Shareware Review People


Type of Program: Internet Phone
Supported Platforms:Windows 95/NT
Company Name: PhoneFree
Version: 6.1.5
Price: Free
Installed Size: 272 KB


And the winner by a mile for sound quality, stability and price is PhoneFree. Now I could go on about any feature You are looking for in an internet phone, but what I wanted was something that was easy to install, register, call, use and did not freeze or crash my system and this is it folks. So far, I have tried 8 of these programs and this is the third review. VoxPhone sounded pretty good but was extremely unstable on two different computers and could not be counted on for more than a few minutes before crashing one or both of our computers. My friend in England and I both have Pentium 166 machines with 16 bit 1/2 duplex sound cards and VoxPhone techs blamed the crashing on the sound cards. Internet Phone by VocalTec had the good grace to merely crash itself rather than the computers and sounded better to boot. My version was pretty stable, my friend's hid below the task bar and would not come out even when reinstalled. The techs never got back to me on this. Enter PhoneFree. No crashes, MUCH better sound than the previously mentioned more expensive programs, easier to install and use and no problems with the look up server which never worked with the others outside of using ICQ. So what's the catch, you are asking? None. PhoneFree just works fine. It really is free as well. If you are going to be using it a lot I would download and try it then get PhoneFree Gold for the added features like unlisted numbers, expanded voice mail, free updates, out going messages etc. I know we are going to do just that ourselves and its priced right with 2 copies for only $29.00. Now, Robin, come on, what's the dirt here? Dish. Ok, there a few annoyances. To get this great sound most of you will need to use 1/2 duplex which clicking the space bar or mouse to talk just like a CB radio, but once you accept that you are cookin'. Other small annoyances: the caller has a big page to look at and you can't do other things on your computer very easily. You can use full duplex at these times, for instance when the more experienced user is helping the other with some computer chore or another. My friend did have a bit of trouble getting into the white pages, but we figured that out and just reregistered. To tell the truth thats about all the annoyances. You have a nice small footprint program that works great and isn't a system resource hog. A little icon sits near your clock and alerts you when someone is calling or by double clicking it, you can place your own calls. NOW do Sprint and MCI have to start worrying? Pretty soon is my guess and if I were them, I would begin investing heavily in Big Bit Software's stock and PhoneFree. I will review more internet phones, but for now the sound quality and stability champ is clearly PhoneFree. So give your aunt Dew, uncle Smitty, grama and the Colonel copies and cut way back on those phone bills.

New Info from the company:
Come to and call PC-to-PC anytime, anywhere, over the Internet for free. When you install PhoneFree you get enhanced communications features like video calling & video mail, integrated voice mail, teleconferencing and you can share pictures and files while you speak. What does all this cost? NOTHING!

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Support: None needed yet.
Reviewed by Robin Hall

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