I've had Google Talk installed for a while now as my preferred IM client, but hadn't yet used the VOIP (voice over IP) features as I didn't have a mic. Well all that has changed (thanks Dad), and so my rambling dulcet tones are now loose on the Internet!

As I don't actually talk to anyone but Tony on Google Talk, I called him. And I was pleasantly surprised. It just worked, the mic level is adjusted automatically, I could hear him, he could hear me, and we could just, well, talk. The quality is good, better than standard telephones and mobiles, and best of all it is free! Also, its got a wicked ringing tone, and the answerphone has a meep, not a beep - once you hear it you'll understand!

I've also got Windows Live Messenger installed too, and knowing this also has free VOIP capabilities, I tried that. That wasn't so good, I couldn't hear Tony, and he couldn't hear me. It didn't just work.

The only downside to Google Talk, currently no method of altering your speaker / headphone volume within Google Talk, and no video conferencing yet either, although I'm sure they'll be working on that.

In short, if you want quick, easy, free VOIP that just works, give Google Talk a go.