One thing that you'll need when you move to a new country, is a local phone number back home that your parents and family can use to call you without being crazily over charged for talking to you for 5 minutes.
There are many companies that offer an overseas number you can be reached at, and assuming you are not in the US, and do not have access to google voice, things are a bit tricky.
I was looking for the more techie, less expensive option. at first I was looking at setting up my own voice over IP machine over at my house, and then I discovered that there are services out there that do this for you. In fact, I found one such service that the companies that sell you international numbers use.
It's called DID Logic, and it's comes out cheaper and more manageable even if you have simple web browsing skills.
Here is what you do:
- Go to didlogic.com
- purchase an international number in your family's country
- make sure to look around. many numbers will be available, and some cost more than others. SOme will have a 2$ a month setup fee, some are free to use with unlimited minutes, some have limited minutes, but all of them will be pretty good deals compared to what is offered by many companies today.
- Once you purchase the number (you can even use paypal), you charge up your call plan by adding some money to them (I use increments of 50$ every 3 months or so)
- You can then have number remote number either forward to your own local cellphone number, home number, or a SIP number. The cool point is: you can do all three at the same time. For example, we have a number that rings on my wife's mobile, on my mobile and also on the SIP extention.
- What's a SIP? it is like an IP or a url. it is the address you can set up if you have special apps on your iphone or android that can recieve SIP calls. Very much like Skype usernames. I use Acrobits SoftPhone, but there are free ones out there.
- With a SIP software you can also make outgoing calls. We mosly use our number to get incoming calls, and use skypeout for outgoing calls. seems to working nucely for us. The SIP quality has'nt been so good, but perhaps it has become better in the year I haven't used it so far.
- Cost: outgoing are max 0.36$ per minute with one of the numbers I have. Incoming changes based on if you forward to a mobile or a landline, you can find out here. Here it is for norway:
Norway - Mobile - Netcom$0.0429 per min, sms 7.54 ¢
Norway - Mobile - Telenor$0.0438 per min, sms 14.15 ¢
Norway - Mobile - Tele2$0.0496 per min , sms 7.54 ¢
Norway - Mobile$0.0896 per min, sms 7.54 ¢