Jajah: Internet Phoning on the Cheap

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You've heard that making phone calls over the Internet is cheap and easy. Now, for those of you who haven't tried it, no more excuses: Try Jajah. This is one of the smoothest, simplest, and cheapest ways to make Internet calls. Unlike Skype, it doesn't require downloaded software. And unlike Vonage, it doesn't require a piece of extra hardware and a monthly charge to work with a standard telephone. You don't even need a broadband connection.

Jajah uses a truly clever approach. You type the number you want to call into your Web browser, and then Jajah calls you on your land line or cellphone. After you pick up, Jajah then calls the party you are trying to reach. No mess, no fuss. It's simple and it works, with sound quality that rivals or exceeds what you get with the phone company.

You do need a computer, a Web browser, and an account at Jajah to use its basic version. Calls to a land line anywhere in the world typically cost 3 to 5 cents a minute, or they're usually free if you're calling another Jajah user. The service performs other tricks, such as scheduling calls for the future, which can be a lifesaver if you've a memory like mine. You can also make conference calls, and it recently added software that enables calls from many mobile phones.

Finally, Jajah offers five minutes of free calls to anyone who wants to try the service. That's one more incentive to finally join the millions making Internet calls.