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You won’t have any more excuses with this guide to calling home on the cheap. Just watch those drunk-dials to your ex...

Miss the sound of mum’s voice nagging at you? Secretly can’t wait to hear what Uncle Mick had for dinner? Go on, admit it. Sometimes you do just miss home and there’s nothing you want to hear more than what your Gran accidentally called her dog last week (it was your name by the way). Finding a time when you can speak, however, is not easy given the time difference - and the extortionate prices. Here is a round-up of some of the cheapest, most convenient ways to stay in touch across hemispheres. Uncle Mick’s digestive problems will never be a mystery again

Internet:

Online phone calls are the saviour of long-distance relationships and the friend of nagging mums the world over. There are hundreds of options out there, but not all oft hem boast crystal-clear connections. Here are some sites worth signing up to if you haven’t already.

Skype: This well-known internet phone service offers free international calls between users. Given that both parties must have an account and be signed on to speak, it never has jibed well with grans. To solve this, though, you can also call mobiles and landlines for a small fee. You can top-up credit online or now you can buy vouchers at PayPoint counters in most local shops. skype.com/en/

Viber: This online phone service is similar to Skype, although it does not yet have a system for dialling numbers with credit. What it can offer, however, is portability - originally designed as mobile app, it works very smoothly on-the-go, and requires less memory than Skype to make a call which means it won’t eat up your mobile Internet allowance (if you have an iPhone, Face Time is basically the same thing). viber.com

Localphone: A call from your online Localphone account to Australia costs 0.9p per minute, compared to 1.4p a minute as charged by Skype. However, the site is not as streamlined and slick and the connection is not as localphone.com


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TNT's guide to calling home on the cheap
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