VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) has recently become very popular among individual consumers and businesses alike, simply because it offers huge savings over standard phone systems. VoIP if a fairly new technology that allows you to make phone calls via the Internet. With the right equipment (for example, hardware, software, and a broadband connection), VoIP enables you to make calls over the Internet.
Once you subscribe to an Internet Service Provider—if you haven’t already—all you need to do is install VoIP software, plug in your phone, and you’re ready to start making call anywhere around the world. With some VoIP models, you don’t even need the software, you simply connect the phone to your PC with a USB cable and start dialing. The VoIP, looks, acts, and even rings like a traditional phone, and in most cases, the call quality is the same or better than the phones you are used to.
There are three basic methods for connecting to a VoIP network:
Using a VoIP telephone
Using a standard telephone (with a VoIP adapter)
Using a computer with speakers and a microphone
Although it always pays to shop around for the best price, the VoIP components are easy to find on the Internet or local computer outlet. If you enter the word, “VoIP” into your favorite search engine, you should be able to pull up several different vendors to choose from.
How can VoIP work for you?
With VoIP, you can place calls using your existing Internet connection. For the most part, you pay a low monthly fee for both local and long-distance calls. Much like a regular phone, you can place calls to other VoIP devices, normal telephones (on a household landline), or business switchboards.
Phone users pay a flat monthly fee for local telephone calls and a per-minute charge for long-distance calls. Since you can use an Internet connection for both data and voice traffic, you can bundle them into one small payment.
What are the advantages of VoIP?
There is a charge for sending/receiving calls to and from other networks, but these are relatively small. VoIP solutions are also available both for individuals and business, and both solutions offer great savings over other well-known phone providers.
What are the disadvantages?
In most cases, you need to keep the PC on, so if there’s a problem with your computer or broadband connection, you may not be able to use your phone. Also, since Internet speed has an effect on call quality, you may experience muffled or dropped calls if you don’t use a high-speed Internet connection for your phone. People who use a dial-up connection often complain about poor call quality.
If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a VoIP phone service for your home or business, it’s definitely worth a try. Some companies even offer their service on a free trial basis, so you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!