Internet Phone Services
VoIP or voice over internet Protocol is that technology which makes it possible to make phone calls through the internet. This technology is given many common names as internet phone service or digital phone service or broadband phone service.
Traditional landlines use the Public Switched telephone network, which involves high company fees to that is why they are expensive. However while making VoIP calls no such fees is involved because the calls are made through a broadband connection which routes the calls over the World Wide Web. This is the primary reason that such calls are very cheap.
There could be misconceptions that through VoIP you can make calls only on internet phones, this is not the case you can make calls on any phone service using internet phones. This makes it very flexible and a very economic option.
Two types of internet phone services that are very popular these days are software VoIp and hardware VoIp. Both of these programs use the internet to make phone calls but the hardware program uses a small adapter kind of device to process calls, whereas the software VoIp program uses the computer and special software for the calling process.
Although both of these services are economical solutions as compared to landlines but both are suited to serve specific needs. Ahead are explained both the techniques and their suitability for various circumstances.
Software Based Program-
This program works through your computer so utilize this you need to have a Pc and sound card, speakers and a microphone at all times. So, this type of service is best for occasional use or while traveling. To get the best results from this service it is recommended that you use headset with microphone. Or you could make use of USB or Internet phones that are special kinds of phone designed for this purpose.
Once the internet connection is established then you need to use the special software based VoIp program for making and receiving calls. Although, this service can be used on a dial up connection too, but it is better to have a broadband connection. Another benefit that can be availed in this service is that majority of the VoIp software based programs allow you to download their programs for free and set up a free account.
Mostly people use this service for making long distance international calls as they can be made at very cheap rates. The incoming on these lines is free and you are charged only when you make calls outside. There are many programs to choose form, Net2phone, Webphone etc.
Hardware Based Program –
This service is more user friendly as the requirement of computer is not there, normal phone instruments can be used to make these calls. This service is more economical for home and work places and is being widely used as a substitute for the traditional landlines. When referring to Internet phone service or Digital Phone Service then people are referring to the Hardware based VoIp program.
Whichever company you take your subscription from will provide you a small device that is an adaptor which on the one end connects to the internet and on the other connects to the phone. This adapter routes and connects all calls to and from the internet.
There are a variety of programs to chose from ranging form the limited period plans for 200- 500 minutes for local and long distance to unlimited plans which cost from $18- $30 which users find more economical. There is a variety of service providers in the hardware VoIp programs like Vonage, Packet8, AT&T Callvantage etc.