Voice Over Internet Protocol
With VOIP technology, you can now place a phone call to someone on the other side of the world using your broadband internet connection rather than a telephone. VOIP technology, in essence, takes the analog signals from your voice and converts them into digital signals able to travel over the internet. Then, at the other end, VOIP converts the digital signal back to the spoken word. Types of VOIP service vary.
Some VOIP providers only allow you to call other users of the same VOIP provider; other VOIP providers allow you to call anyone with a telephone. To break it down, there are three basic types of VOIP service: With an ATA (an analog voice adaptor), which is box that connects your computer (or your internet connection) to your telephone for VOIP use. With an IP phone, a special VOIP phone that is by all appearances a regular telephone but with special Ethernet connectors allowing you to hook it up to your router. Before long, WIFI VOIP phones will be on the market, allowing you to place a VOIP call from any internet hot-spot.With just your computer, you can install VOIP software and place, for free sometimes, VOIP phone calls anywhere in the world.
Get a sound card, speakers, a microphone, and an internet connection, preferably broadband, and you’re good to go. Probably one of the most apparent benefits of VOIP is how it relieves you of the need to pay the telephone company for phone service. That's one more bill out of your life! You only need to pay your broadband bill (plus VOIP charges) to have your telephoning needs met as well, and a VOIP bill is usually much cheaper than a phone bill. If you carry an internet-enabled laptop with you wherever you go, say, on a vacation, then all you need to do is bring your VOIP adapter and/or IP telephone and you've got service as good as, if not sometimes better than, a cell phone.You must also consider the disadvantages before diving in and going VOIP. For one, your VOIP service may not respond well during power outages and server failures. If your internet is ever out, your VOIP will be out as well, and thus your ability to place phone calls.
Additionally, not all VOIP providers offer 9-1-1 or directory assistance calls. Before purchasing VOIP hardware and service, make sure the VOIP company you choose provides the services you need. Interestingly enough, you may have been placing VOIP calls for a long time now without even knowing it. Telephone companies have been using VOIP technology to make their services more efficient. You can also expect most of the same features from your VOIP service provider as you currently get from your phone company. VOIP service often includes caller ID, call waiting, call transfer, return call, and other convenient features you’re used to.
Additionally some VOIP providers offer call-filtering services, letting you choose how calls from a designated number are dealt with. Maybe you forward the call to a different number elsewhere, maybe the caller gets a busy signal from you, or a message saying your number is “no longer in service”. Some even allow you to check your voicemail over VOIP and add voice messages as email attachments.VOIP is a burgeoning technology with extremely promising possibilities ahead of it. Before long, Ma Bell may become obsolete.
About the Author: Alan Jason Smith is the owner of http://www.joovoip.com which is a great place to find VOIP links, resources and articles. For more information go to: http://www.joovoip.com