Frequently Asked Questions
February 6, 2001
After many people have used a product over a long period of time,
the same questions are often repeatedly asked by different users, as is
the case with Speak Freely. This document serves as the official
FAQ list for the Speak Freely program. It is by no means supposed
to answer every conceivable question that could possibly be asked, so please
let me know if you have a piece of information that you believe deserves
to be added to this list. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. What is Speak Freely?
Speak Freely is a program that allows two or more people to conduct
a real-time voice conference over the Internet or any other TCP/IP network.
It supports a variety of compression protocols, such as GSM, ADPCM, LPC,
and LPC-10. The cryptography-enabled version includes IDEA, DES,
and limited PGP encryption capabilities for protecting the privacy of important
2. Can I call regular telephones
with Speak Freely?
No. Speak Freely only calls other people using Speak Freely on a PC. The
only way to make calls over the Internet for free to a regular phone number
is to use a service such as Dialpad.
Most of the free sites have switched to a paid model, so don't expect to call
some of the more expensive countries, such as India, for free.
3. How much does Speak Freely
Speak Freely is Open Source (under the GNU General Public License), so there
is no cost associated with the program. There is no cost to using Speak
Freely - hence the name. You can even sell it, just
as long as you adhere to the terms of the
4. Is Speak Freely Year 2000
I really hope nobody is still asking this question now!
5. When will the next
version be released?
When I am satisfied with a version, whether beta or an actual production
release, I will make it available. Due to the diversity of features
and bug fixes, the time will vary between updates. Also, since I
have a separate full-time job, I can only devote evenings and weekends
to the project. If you don't see an update for a while, don't worry.
I won't forget about it. If I ever do decide to stop updating Speak
Freely, I will publicly ask for volunteers to take over the project unless,
of course, I get hit by a bus, as the saying goes.
6. Why is there
a version without cryptography (encryption)?
The U.S. and other countries have export controls on encryption software,
so I can only export non-cryptographic versions from my web site.
These versions will be identified with "(no crypto)" after the version
number under Help|About. I will post links to sites outside the U.S.
that have the fully cryptographic versions available.
If Speak Freely is being developed inside the U.S.A., how are you able
to export it?
Originally, I was not actually exporting any encryption software. Since Speak
Freely was originally developed in Switzerland, I could make my modifications
(which don't have anything to do with cryptography) and have someone outside
the country patch in my changes with the original encryption modules.
John Walker, the original author of Speak Freely, has been gracious enough
to do the patches for me. Now that the regulations have been somewhat relaxed, I am able
to provide the complete source code - including encryption - for download directly from
my site in the U.S. However, someone outside the U.S. must compile the full crypto-
enabled version in order to provide it for people to download. So, there is still
a lot to be desired with respect to the regulations, but it's better than it was.
8. Will there be a Macintosh (or whatever)
If someone wants to develop one. Right now, I do not
have a Macintosh nor the development tools to develop software for the
MacOS. Plus, Apple is known for their expensive products, and I have
no desire to cater to another proprietary O/S (Windows is bad enough).
If there is a platform you would like to port Speak Freely to, feel
free to do so, and I will provide a link from the Speak Freely web site
to your project.
Copyright © 2001 Brian C. Wiles.