What is VOIP?
VOIP (which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol) is an increasingly
popular technology that allows users to make telephone calls using their
broadband internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. In order to
use this technology, you will need a computer, cable, DSL, LAN, or other
high-speed Internet connection, and either an adapter for your telephone or a
special VoIP phone. It is also possible to make and receive calls using your
computer and a microphone.
Calling with VoIP
When you place a call using a VoIP service, your voice is converted into
a digital signal so that it can be sent through the Internet. If you are
calling a person who uses analog, or traditional, phone lines, your voice will
be converted back into a regular telephone signal before it reaches them. The
digital signal itself is transmitted to other VoIP users.
In order to use this technology, it is necessary to have
a broadband-connected computer and either an adapter for your analog telephone
or an entirely separate VoIP phone. Before choosing an adapter or telephone,
you must speak with your VoIP service provider. Some require a separate VoIP
phone whereas others allow users to connect a traditional phone to a VoIP
adapter. Your broadband connection can be made through a cable modem, DSL, or
other LAN service.
Types of VoIP Services
All VoIP providers offer different services at different rates. Some
restrict users to making and receiving calls to other VoIP users only, while
others offer an expanded service but do not charge a fee for VoIP to VoIP
calls. Long distance and local calling options are available, depending on your
needs. In addition, it is possible to contract with a VoIP service that charges
a flat rate based on the number of minutes used as opposed to the calling area,
similar to a typical cellular phone plan. Consulting firms
can assist you with selecting a voip service provider.
The Benefits VoIP
VoIP technology offers services and features analog phone companies do
not. VoIP providers also incorporate many features into their basic offerings;
options like call waiting, conference calling, voicemail, and caller ID are
available as part of a standard VoIP service. Users can save money by
eliminating the need for a phone line and paying only for broadband Internet access. Once you are set up, VoIP calling is no different than using any other type of telephone.