Skype alternative: Fring

On: October 28, 2007
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About Daphne Ben Shachar
Daphne is a Master student of New Media at the University of Amsterdam. She has a bachelor degree Communication & Multimedia Design, Interactive Media with an expertise in Content and Communication. And before that she also graduated at the Graphic School with an expertise in Traffic and Production Management within the graphical industry. In her spare time Daphne likes to go to the theater, mainly cabaret.


In addition to the article of Laura, I’d like to add another Skype alternative: Fring.
Fring is a free mobile VoIP application which allows you to talk and chat via an internet connection with pc-based services such as Skype, MSN, ICQ, Google Talk, SIP and Twitter.

My experience with Fring is based on a windows pc and a Nokia phone. The installation of the software is quick and easy. Don’t forget to have all of your usernames and passwords by hand. The interface is very user friendly and easy to use.
Fring screenshot
When you start the application it connects with the internet, trough wifi, 3G or GPRS. Then it combines all your contacts of all the applications mentioned above into one list. Now you are able to call or chat with your contacts without making extra costs on, for example, SMS.

Most of such applications work through networks, Fring doesn’t, it works via the servers of the other applications. When you select a person, it gives you a choice to call via gsm or via Fring. If you’re calling a contact which is on your SIM card, you will pay for that call in the same way as Skype Out calls. On YouTube you can find several videos on how to use Fring in different forms.
how fring works
I’ve been using Fring for a couple of weeks now and what I’ve noticed is that when I’m calling somebody who is also using Fring, the connection has got a delay in it. So when you talk to each other you’ll be forced to leave silences in between your sentences or dialogs in order not to talk at the same time the other person does. It has got the effect of a long distance call. When I’m calling with Skype for example, this delay doesn’t happen.

In the upcoming month I will be testing Fring and I’ll give you an update by the time I figured out all of the functions and options. Also I’m thinking of comparing it with Jaiku, anyone got some experience on that software?

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