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How to make phone calls from your computer? - TOP of the Best Tools

September 23, 2022
phone system for small business

Man is a social animal. From the beginning, we've been continually finding better ways to communicate with others. In the last few decades alone, communication technology has evolved to a point where almost everyone now has a mobile phone.

Today, you can make and receive phone calls even without your phone – all you need is your computer and an internet connection.

Why would you use your computer to call someone?

Computer calls use your internet connection. The technology behind this is called Voice Over IP. (VOIP). You can make personal as well as business calls from your computer. For new ventures and growing businesses, using the computer to make calls is a much more cost-efficient solution as compared to having a regular phone line. Let's look at some of the advantages:

Calling from your computer using Wi-Fi is cheaper

Even with the cheapest mobile phone plan, you're still paying a monthly subscription. Many mobile plans offer unlimited calls, but this is usually limited to domestic calls. The call rates for international phone calls are significantly higher. Again, if you're traveling out of your home state, you'll pay a high roaming fee in addition to the existing subscription.

On the other hand, making calls over Wi-Fi is almost free. With the right application, you can make unlimited domestic and international calls at a nominal price. And, where you're calling from doesn't matter. Whether you make a call from your laptop at home or while you're traveling, there are no additional roaming fees to be incurred. Businesses can see savings between 30% and 50%.

Your computer is like a second phone

It's happened to all of us at some point in time – you reach the office and figure that you left your phone at home. Or, you forgot to charge it and the battery is down. In such instances, knowing that you can use your computer as a second phone is a relief. You don't need to worry about being unreachable and nor do you need to drive back home just to get your phone or your charger.

Enhanced features

When you talk to someone over the internet rather than a phone line, you can do a lot more than just hear their voice. For starters, internet calling supports audio as well as video transmission. This is a big advantage, especially for small businesses with team members who work remotely. You can even have multi-party video conferences.

It also unleashes several powerful features that increase productivity and collaboration. For example, calls can be recorded and monitored for training and transparency. You can integrate the calling app with business tools like your CRM database, email account, etc.

Make calls from your computer with your own phone number…

You can use your own phone number to make calls from your computer.

Make calls from your PC with your Android Phone number

If you have an android phone and a computer with Windows OS, you can use the Phone Link app (previously Your Phone) by Microsoft to make calls. In terms of hardware, the only consideration is that both your phone and your computer should be Bluetooth-enabled.

phone system for small business

The calling app is available from the Microsoft store and is easy to install on your computer. Your phone will need the ‘Your Phone Companion -Link to Windows' app. Once both the apps are installed, the phone can be connected to the computer by scanning a QR code. You'll be prompted to grant a few permissions and then you're set to make and receive calls, send text messages, share photographs, etc. from your computer.

To make a call, open the Phone Link app and select Calls. You can type the number directly or choose a name from your contact list. Click on the Dial icon as you would on your phone. It's that simple!

Make calls from Facetime on your Mac using your iPhone phone number.

phone system for small business

If you have an iPhone and a Mac, you can make calls on your computer through FaceTime.

To set up your phone, go to the settings and turn on Wi-Fi Calling. Open the FaceTime app on your Mac and go to Preferences and Settings. Click on the option for ‘Calls from iPhone'.

To make a call, you can type the number in the pop-up window or select the person's name from your Contacts. Click on the Phone icon and your call will be initiated.

…or get a second phone number (for mobile and computer calls)

Whether you're a business owner or an employee, nobody likes having their personal phone ring for work calls. Choosing to use your computer to make calls can help avoid this. You can get yourself a second number for a cloud business phone system. This number can be used to make calls over the internet from your computer. And if you're away from your desk, calls can get routed to your mobile phone. It's the ideal solution that keeps you accessible to colleagues, clients and partners without invading your personal space.

The best apps to make calls from your computer

Quicktalk

phone system for small business

Quicktalk is a convenient way to manage calls from any device. This mini call center software is ideal for startups and growing businesses that need a business contact number and a cost-effective way to make domestic and international calls.

Set up is easy and you can get a phone number with a local code in 36 global destinations. Or, you could use your existing number. Quicktalk offers a variety of work-friendly services like custom greetings, opening hours, a call menu, call distribution and more. It can even be integrated into your website for 1-click-calling.

Quicktalk offers an all-in-one plan for $19 per month per company.

How to start using it

Getting started with Quicktalk takes no longer than a few minutes. It may take a few days if you want to port your existing number. Once you've activated your Quicktalk number, connect to the Quicktalk dashboard and dial the number you want to call. Team members can make calls simultaneously from their browsers.

Key benefits

  • Unlimited calls to 35 countries
  • Easy way to monitor calls by listening to live calls or call recordings
  • 1-click call integration with eCommerce websites
  • Easy integration with Slack for real-time notifications
  • Customizable greetings to support branding and marketing campaigns

Google Voice for personal use

A Google Voice for Personal Use account can be used by a single user and allows you to make and receive calls from anywhere in the USA. You can use the account to make calls from your computer as well as other devices like a tablet or your smartphone. If you have more than one phone number, you can use Google Voice to route all incoming calls to the Google Voice account without any extra cost.

Google Voice for Personal use is free but you may need to buy credit for certain features like international calling.

How to start using it

You can set up your Google Voice account from here. Click on the ‘For Personal Use' button and sign in to your google account. Review the terms and conditions and search for an available phone number in your area. Select your preferred number and you can start making calls over the internet.

Key benefits

  • Easy way to manage calls from multiple numbers
  • Voicemail transcriptions linked to Gmail inbox
  • Block unwanted callers easily

Limitations

  • Services limited to the USA
  • Not cost-effective for international calling
  • No auto-attendant feature
  • No Toll-Free number
  • No availability of number porting
  • Cannot be integrated into non-Google CRMs and ERPs

Google Voice for Business

Google Voice for Business gives companies an easy way to stay connected with an easy-to-use cloud phone solution. It caters to the needs of start-ups as well as established MNCs. It can be used to make and receive calls from your desktop and laptop as well as mobile devices and supported desk phones. With Google AI, you can balance connectivity and productivity by blocking spam calls and integrating the account with your Calendar and other Google apps.

Google Voice for Business offers three pricing plans. The Starter plan priced at $10 per user per month can be used by up to 10 users in up to 10 domestic locations. The standard plan priced at $20 per user per month and the Premier plan priced at $30 per user per month can have unlimited users in domestic locations. The Premier plan opens the system up to team members in international locations as well.

How to start using it

You can get a Google Voice for Business account from here. You must have a Google Workspace account to use Google Voice for Business. Sign in to your Google Workspace account as the admin and choose the plan suitable to your organization. You can add locations for your team members and get numbers assigned to them. Users will get emails with their new numbers that can then be used to make calls.

Key Benefits

  • Integration with corporate directory
  • Compatible with desk phones
  • Automated answering service to redirect incoming calls
  • Custom greeting for brand reinforcement
  • Voice mail transcripts in an email inbox for easy access
  • Access to call data analysis and insights

Limitations

  • Limited international connectivity
  • Available only in select countries
  • No toll-free numbers are available
  • Can be integrated only with select productivity apps
  • No customer service

Skype

Skype is one of the oldest virtual phone system software. It allows people to have one-on-one and group conversations via their desktops, laptops, mobile devices, Alexa and even an Xbox. Along with audio and video calling, Skype offers smart messaging with emojis as well as @mentions. You can also share screens for presentations and collaborative projects. Moments when key decisions are taken can be recorded. You can also use live subtitles.

Skype to Skype calls are free anywhere in the world. To make Skype calls to a cell phone or send an SMS, you will need to buy credits or subscribe to a plan.

How to start using it

To get started with Skype, you must first download the software to your device. Next, create a free account with your email address or phone number and create a password for it. If you have a Microsoft account, you can use it to sign in to Skype. Enter a few details like your name, date of birth, address, gender, etc. and verify your account with the code sent on your email/phone SMS. You can send requests to other Skype accounts to add them to your contact list.

Key benefits

  • Easy to set up
  • Free Skype to Skype calls

Limitations

  • Calling phone numbers can be expensive
  • Skype conversations are susceptible to interception
  • No linked productivity apps
  • Absence of call forwarding, call routing and other such features

Conclusion

The ability to make calls over the internet is especially beneficial to small and growing businesses. It's an easy way to manage calls centrally and when integrated with CRM and ERPs helps boost productivity. Features like call recording and live call monitoring are further reasons why it is the better choice as compared to traditional phone lines.

That said, you must choose the right software and applications.

Firstly, they must offer secure communication channels. Secondly, it should be easy to set up and work well with other applications. Ideally, if you're not available at your desk, you should be able to answer incoming calls on other devices as well.

Lastly, pricing is important and getting a free service is always appealing but take a closer look before you get swayed by it. For example, if you have international customers and need to pay extra to call them, the monthly costs may add up to quite a bit.

Switching from using traditional desk phones to making calls over the internet not only improves communication but can also improve productivity and smoothen workflows. Hence, choose carefully and pick a system that you feel would be a long-term solution.

A Simple, All-In-One Pricing Plan

$19

Per month - Per Company

  • Unlimited calling in 36 countries
  • Custom greetings, call routing,
    phone menu 'Press #1..., Press #2...'
  • Connect your e-commerce in 1-click