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All you need to know about VoIP

The acronym VoIP stands for voice over Internet Protocol. This phenomenon allows one to make phone calls using an Internet connection rather than a standard telephone line. Since it is recently conceptualized, there will be a growing number options and services provided, being several immediately present. For instance, some services may limit the user to calling others with the same service, while others allowing you to call any telephone number, from local, national, to international. VoIP can be a very convenient means of communication especially for those whose jobs warrant them to use the Internet in conjunction with communicating to others.

How it works

The voice signal from your telephone will be converted into a digital signal manifesting itself onto the Internet. When calling a regular number, the signal will be reconverted at the other end. A VoIP call can be executed from a computer, VoIP phone, and a traditional phone with a VoIP adaptor, along with wireless spots allowing Internet access like airports, parks, and cafes. Making a call with an adaptor will allow you to dial as always and if your provider assigns you a regular number, people calling you need not to have a special adaptor.

"The speed of communications is wondrous to behold."

As stated, this happening is pretty new, so there will be different initial and impending options and entities that are integral to the process. You will need an Internet connection and a broadband connection for many VoIP calls. Depending on the service provider you may need a computer, special VoIP phone, or a regular phone with adaptor. The good thing is, people that you call with a regular phone will not need to have any specialized equipment.

The usage of a VoIP phone or regular phone with VoIP adaptor is much like using a traditional phone. If using VoIP with a computer, one will have to activate the VoIP icon on the screen. You can dial the number through the keyboard or set up numbers prior much like having e-mail addresses pre-established. Dialing will elicit a ring like a traditional phone and receiving calls allows for several options of indication.

Why it is better
VoIP features and services transcend that of traditional telephone services. If you take advantage of purchasing VoIP service, you can decide whether you need to maintain a traditional phone service. As stated in the introduction, you can use your Internet service and that of the VoIP simultaneously. If there is Internet service to be tapped into and you have the necessary equipment you can take advantage of this service while traveling.

The limitations

There has been concern of the limitations that some providers offer as far as accessing 911. Other services do not perform during power outages and some providers do not supply backup power. Some providers may not offer directory assistance or white page listings. Again, the nature of the options and technology is changing so some of these disadvantages will be ironed out. For instance, as far as 911, due to reports in 2005 of people not granted access to 911 the FCC imposed 'Enhanced 911' obligations on providers of interconnected VoIP services.

"The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less distance between us."

Local and long distance usage
Some VoIP providers will not charge you for calls to other subscribers and some may charge you for calling other VoIP subscribers that are outside your immediate set up calling area. Still others may not make a specific distinction between local and long distance calls, but will provide you with a flat rate of minutes allotted allowing you to call anywhere. Some providers will allow you to establish an area code to your VoIP phone that is different from the one in which you live. This may be convenient if a large number of calls made our the same as your phones area code, but may be pricy to others in your immediate area calling you that will be charged for making a long distance phone call.

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