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VOIP Information


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. 

VoIP Equipment

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. 
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