There are several reasons why you should try out these SIP Softphones, firstly they are fully compatible with the free IP/PBX Asterisk versions of open source software such as Trixbox and they are all free. Secondly, some of these are feature packed Softphones support many voice and video codec. This means that most are capable of supporting many advanced features such as video conferencing, Instant Messaging and even sharing desktops.
The advantages of having your own SIP account and address is that you are not tied down to any SIP service provider. However, if you do not have access to your own SIP enabled IP/PBX then you will need to get access via a SIP service provider. The additional benefit is that you are free to use any of these free software application you chose, to communicate with someone else over the internet.
X-Lite from Counterpath
X-Lite from Counterpath is the free version of their range of SIP Softphones for PC’s and Laptops. It has a very smart and feature packed GUI and a long list of supported codec from both voice and video. It is easy to configure and test. X-Lite is the entry level model of desktop SIP phone but it has full messaging and presence features enables as well as video calling, though that is only in standard mode. X-lite may be free but it is an excellent Softphone for any IP/PBX. As it is extremely popular, it has its own dedicated and well-supported user support forum.
QuteCom is an open-source Softphone written in Python, C and C++ and was formerly known as the Wengophone. It has all the features of a standard IP Smartphone such as voice and IM. It can be used to store contacts and send messages or even SMS text messages. QuteCom has limited features at present but is constantly undergoing development. It has version available for Windows, MacOS and ver. 2.2 rpm now supports Linux.
Ekiga is another free open-source phone. (Formerly known as Gnomemeeting). It is a Softphone with video conferencing support and an instant messenger & presence application built in. Ekiga can support both HD sound and DVD quality. It is interoperable with any device or service that uses either SIP or H.323.
Jitsi is another free open-source Softphone that supports secure video calls, over any platform, Window, MacOS or Linux. Calls through Jitsi are fully encrypted for added security, as are video conferencing chat and desktop sharing. Jitsi can also support IPv6, call recording and will connect too many social media networks.
MicroSIP is an open source Softphone that allows for high quality VoIP through using the SIP protocol. One feature of MicroSIP is that it is very light on features, which also makes it light on resources and bandwidth. MicroSIP was designed with mobility in mind so it can be transported from one PC to another on a thumb drive.