A good friend wrote to tell me about Tokbox. He lives in the States but the government in his home country has implemented draconian measures and shut down site like Skype and Google Talk. Here’ what he says:
I used to use skype and google talk to communicate with my brother. But recently the [edited] government started blocking VOIP sites. As a result, I can’t use google talk and skype now. Hopefully, they will not block tokbox anytime soon. The other cool think about tokbox is you don’t have to download any program, you just open the site, create an account and you are ready to go. One of the features I liked about it is that you can leave a message WITH VIDEO for your contacts even if they are not signed in. They will listen/view it when they sign in. It also sends you a reminder to your email address when you have a missed call or a message.
By the way, the company is headquartered in San Francisco!
If you are a heavy user you might want to use their desktop client which runs on the Adobe Air platform. You can download it here. It is a slick interface and could possibly be a Skype killer. However, I have to look into the encryption issue which I know is added comfort for many of you.