Anyone who has travelled or who has been telecommuting and working through a mobile office would know the importance of connectivity. It’s not just important to be able to stay in touch wherever you are. It’s also important to be able to do that at the least expense possible.
Mobile phones let us roam freely around the country (and even around the globe). But this might be an expensive option. VoIP lets us call cheap. But sometimes you can only call other VoIP accounts or VoIP phones. Sometimes you are even limited within a certain VoIP network. There are free interconnection options, but these are also limited, and at times unreliable. I used to be a big fan of Skype, but I’m not so happy with how it’s such a resource hog (on my fast laptop at that!). I’m also an avid user of SIP calls through FWD, but sometimes I’m limited with the numbers (or other VoIP clients) that I can call.
Here’s one service that aims to solve all these problems. Comfi.com offers various options to connect, most notably with its calling card service. Comfi.com is primarily a portal where you can purchase calling cards and calling card credits from various providers.
Options include maintenance-free calling cards, which you don’t have to worry about. These won’t charge you a cent even if you don’t use it often. Some cards are refillable, meaning you don’t have to key in a new account number or PIN each time. Some cards even allow for PIN-less dialing, which means you can just dial a single string of numbers (or dial from memory) without having to key in a PIN when prompted. Some of these do have maintenance fees, though–usually $0.99 per week, which is deducted from the card’s balance automatically.
The comfi.com front page itself gives you an idea of how low the rates can go. These are usually in the one-cent per minute range, though the prices can go lower (like 0.9 cents per minute to some countries). That’s even cheaper than Skype calls!
Comfi.com also gives you choices when it comes to prepaid calling cards. Most would prefer something that can be topped of and that’s PIN-less. This means more convenience and less hassle. Some would prefer to go cheap–The maintenance-free calling cards would be best if you only use calling cards sparingly. But if you’re a heavy user, there’s also an auto refill option, which would charge your credit or debit card accordingly, when your card runs out of balance.
One thing I like is that the site automatically computes the cost and call time available when I choose an option. For instance, this certain card gives me 16 hours and 50 minutes when I buy $10 worth of credits.
I get 168 hours and 21 minutes when I buy $100 worth. That means I get some discounts with volume!
When you’ve decided on a card to purchase (or refill), you are asked to log in to your account. Registration for first time users is easy enough, as you just have to key in your email address, name and a desired password.
You’ll then be asked to input your telephone number for PIN-less dialing. This means whenever you dial from that particular phone, you don’t have to input your PIN. Comfi’s caller ID will identify you automatically and let your call push through. You can opt out of this feature, or input your desired telephone number later.
The last step is the checkout, in which you are asked to input your credit or debit card details. There’s an Auto Refill checkbox that lets Comfi automatically reload your card with $20 worth of credits (from your credit card, of course) whenever the balance reaches $5 or below. You have the option of paying directly by credit/debit card, or through PayPal or Google Checkout.
Once your transaction pushes through, you will then receive dialling instructions via email.
Aside from calling cards, another thing that I like with Comfi is the discounted cellular prepaid cards. You can top up your cellphone, if it’s on mobile networks like Verizon, Cingular, T-Mobile, and a handful of smaller carriers.
Another interesting feature I like is the Web call, which lets you input two telephone numbers you would like connected. Comfi does the calling, and you are charged the lowest possible per minute rate. You’re likely to save on costs if you’re calling abroad or a mobile phone.
Comfi also offers small VoIP-based PBX systems intended for home and small office use under the Turbopbx brand. Comfi also has its own branded PC to Phone calling service. It’s a bit like Skype, but you have to download Comfi’s own software. The rates are a bit higher than the per minute rates for the calling cards, though. But this service can be useful when you’re traveling and the only way to call is by using your computer and a broadband connection.
Comfi is an all in one solution for people looking for communications options. The highlight, of course, is the vast expanse of calling cards to choose from. Whether you’re a road warrior, or a casual traveller, or setting up a home office, be sure to check out Comfi’s offerings.