I wrote about Globfone recently, but here it is again. This time I’m writing a dedicated review, as it’s a blinding service and deserves all the publicity it can get!
Globfone.com offers free calls, free SMS, free p2p video calls and free p2p file sharing. The service is all free, is planned to remain free, no registration or subscription required, the service is sustained completely by ads and sponsors.
On their site they describe their “Free Online Phone Project”:
The idea behind Globfone is to deliver telecommunication services like SMS and international calls for free to users across the globe. At Globfone, we firmly believe that there is ‘Love in Sharing’, therefore we are currently seeking to increase our coverage to more than 90% of major International GSM networks that we currently cover. Globfone WEB is a completely FREE to use internet service that allows you to make free phone calls, send free text messages, make free video calls and a free P2P file sharing service to all your friends and family around the world. This service works without For FREE! And you don’t have to install any special software or go through long registration process – Globfone is completely SAFE and EASY to use.
Their worldwide coverage includes 91% of mobile networks for SMS and 96% for calls.
Most of my experience with Globfone is the SMS service. It is possible to send messages from just about anywhere in the world, to just about anywhere in the world. And Globfone claims that it is possible to send texts to the same number repeatedly in close succession so as to have conversations via SMS. This is something that most services don’t allow, reportedly to prevent spam. But with Globfone, you can. Imagine that you have a mobile phone but no credit or messages left from your allowance. You can text message your friend, she can reply by texting your phone, and then you can reply immediately via Globfone, so carry on a text conversation. Afreesms.com doesn’t allow this, nor does any other service I have come across in my years of checking out these kinds of sites. This is something that Globfone is rightly proud of.
The free calls is a VoIP service that requires no registration, something you rarely find. This service, as well as the SMS, there is an upper limit to the number of free calls and SMSes available to a single IP address during a 24 hour period. When that limit is reached, the user is alerted and asked to wait 24 hours before using the service again. And there is also a call-specific time limit: when you make a call, you are shown a countdown representing how much time you have left on that call. The call-specific time limit is a pain in the ass – it seems you can’t make calls longer than a minute – but remember this service is free and you’re not likely to find better.
A good use of the free call service is to find your phone – if you’ve mislaid it somewhere in your home you can use Globfone to call it, the ringtone then helps you locate your handset. Handy, and unaffected by the call time limit as you don’t need to answer the phone.
The webphone service is truly cross-platform as all you need is a modern browser – it uses multiple different SIP/media engines including a Java VoIP engine – runs in all java enabled browsers; WebRTC – runs in all modern browsers; and Flash VoIP – for compatibility with some old browsers. You also need to enable speakers and microphone, and optionally headphones. And that’s it: as long as your computer has that, you can use the webphone service. If you have problems, visit this webpage.
You can make free calls from most modern smartphones, but may experience difficulties using older mobile platforms, like Symbian OS. If your mobile browser doesn’t support Java, Globfone’s FAQ advises using its mobile beta app – but I couldn’t find a link to that app.
I haven’t used the p2p services – file-sharing and video calls. These services are peer-to-peer, meaning a direct connection is made between 2 computers, rather than using phone networks. If any readers have experience of these Globfone services, please tell us about it in Comments.
The services are financed by ads and sponsorship. In the FAQs, if you want to donate to Globfone or support it in any way, it suggests you “like” Globfone in social media, or place a link to the site in your blog. So that’s what I’m doing here. And look: here’s the link to Globfone!