Strictly speaking no but it depends on your
preference for taking and making calls.
Most people will start off using VoIP with the free services, it's a good
way of trying it out and seeing if you will get on with it or not. Because
you are being as tight as possible at this stage the likely hood is you
will be using that cheap microphone and speakers that came with your
computer, or if you are a gamer, that headset you use so the rest of the
household don't know you are still up at 3 am playing network Doom.
If you see VoIP as the future of your call making
then you will probably be thinking of ways to make it feel more like using
your traditional landline phones, you don't want to be stuck in front of
the computer all day long after all.
can get USB VoIP phones quite cheaply now, this is a good first step. You
still need to use VoIP 3rd party software if using the free services to
make and answer calls and the phone needs to be in reach of the computer
(needs to plug into the USB port) but is a reasonable compromise.
Next step up is something like the SIPphone service
where you use a hardware phone or adapter that negates the need for your
computer. This is a paid for service but means your phone is not dependant
on your computer (just your internet connection)
Services such as this vary from just being able to
call other SIPphone users to any landline phone depending on the service
you've signed up to. You should be saving money over traditional landline
Another benefit of
this type of services is the use of the adapter. With this in place you
can plug in a normal landline phone. This is an obvious money saver as you
can use your current phones.