Making phone calls in Outlook 2003/7

  douglas1973 23:33 31 Jan 11

In the Contacts folder in Outlook 2003/2007 there is an icon looking like a telephone receiver in each individual Contact folder. On placing the mouse over the icon the following appears: "Call this contact using the phone or instant messages". What hardware do I require to make calls other than a router/modem? (I have immense difficulty in understanding what the difference is between a router and a modem!. I do use Skype but it would be more convenient for me to use Outlook to make calls.

  Woolwell 10:47 01 Feb 11

A router distributes data to whatever is connected to it (eg pc, network storage device or printer) and is most frequently used to route the internet by cable or wirelessly to a desktop, laptop or other device.
A modem gets and send the data down the line. There are 2 different types of modem one for broadband and the other for dial-up/telephone.
To make a call over a telephone line you would need a dial-up modem, a mike and preferably a headset. However you could use VOIP like Skype.
Personally I wouldn't bother as when I used it (admittedly a long time ago) the quality wasn't good and most modern computers do not come with a dial-up modem. Note too that calls made this way will cost the same as normal telpehone calls.

  Woolwell 10:51 01 Feb 11

ps You can add Outlook contacts to Skype but such calls may not be free.

  douglas1973 12:26 01 Feb 11

Thanks very much Woolwell for your excellent explanation on the difference between a router and a modem. I finally understand the difference between them!
Yes, I am reluctant to install a dial up modem. Using Skype seeems a better idea. I already have all my Contacts in it but how do I go about making a connection to Skype from Outlook?

  Woolwell 13:06 01 Feb 11

I haven't used this so I don't know how it works but you probably need the Skype e-mail toolbar click here. However unless you subscribe to Skype you can only make free calls to Skype contacts.

  douglas1973 20:50 01 Feb 11

Thanks very much Woolwell. It works! I am very grateful.

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