Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a communication protocol and system for the transport of voice conversations and other multimedia sessions over broadband Internet connections, including the Internet itself. This service can be utilized by individuals as well as businesses. A VoIP service provides the means for transferring voice traffic, along with information and file formats, across the Internet using broadband transmission technologies.
An Internet telephone system (ISP) is usually installed between the user’s computer and the service provider’s router. The VoIP equipment connects to this router via an ethernet cable, which is usually supplied by the internet service provider. This connection allows the user to make telephone calls and use other features available on a VoIP system, like voice mail, conference calling, instant messaging, and internet faxing. It also enables the user to access the Internet and send and receive e-mails.
Internet telephony offers several advantages over traditional telephone service. For one thing, users do not need a telephone handset or base unit. They can directly connect to the Internet using any type of broadband connection, whether it is data cable DSL or VoIP service. As long as they have a wireless router and modem, they can establish a local connection and continue to use voice and data services from any location that they choose. This facility is ideal for people who move around a lot, or who use their VoIP service while traveling.
This facilitates flexible communication plans, which in turn can lead to savings. Traditional telephone plans generally include monthly long distance charges and a per-minute charge for local calls. By using VoIP services, users can enjoy unlimited long distance calls at a flat monthly rate. They also have the option to buy a prepaid VoIP phone card, which can be used in place of a conventional telephone handset. The added convenience of never having to use a traditional telephone handset is well appreciated by most users.
In addition, VoIP telephony provides many other significant advantages.
Because VoIP uses a digital transmission format, the quality of sound is much better than the analog equivalent. Incoming traffic on VoIP networks is far faster and efficient. There is also no significant drop in signal quality when using VoIP compared to traditional telephone networks.
The additional features provided by VoIP service providers can greatly enhance user communications. These features can include conference calling, call forwarding, simultaneous ringing of multiple phones, and speed dialing. Many VoIP providers offer a host of additional services that can be used together with traditional telephony solutions. These services include auto attendant, caller ID, call waiting, fax to email, call screening, call return, and many more. Auto attendant makes your calls easy to manage and helps you get through your day more quickly. You can even set up a feature that tells the telephone company you are away or busy so that they don’t continue to ring your phone.
VoIP works much like traditional telephone use, except you don’t need a landline or cell phone to make or receive a phone call. Instead, all you need is an Internet-ready computer and speakers. Then, you can log into your VoIP account, choose which programs and features you want to use and configure those things as well. VoIP is similar to your ordinary telephone, except it doesn’t involve a landline or cell phone line at all. Instead, VoIP is made up of a small computer system, known as a gateway, and a series of communicating hardware devices, referred to as VoIP phones. You can use VoIP simply by connecting your VoIP phone to an Internet service such as a high-speed or satellite Internet connection.
Many companies offer free VoIP courses that walk you through the process.
In fact, many schools have begun to offer VoIP classes so that students can learn the basics of VoIP technology without having to worry about the potential costs.
- Once you know the basics, you can begin to test your skills and start making and receiving phone calls on the Internet with free VoIP calling services.
- You can easily test out VoIP services with free trial packages from VoIP providers and then see how it feels to use VoIP for yourself.
- You can then decide whether or not VoIP is right for you and your lifestyle.