How Important Is Voice Over Internet Protocol? by Robert Michael
VOIP is a technology that allows us to place telephone calls without a telephone. Instead, with VOIP, you can call anyone anywhere in the world with simply your broadband internet connection.
Essentially, with VOIP, analog signals like those of the voice are converted into digital signals that are then sent over the internet and converted back.
Not all VOIP services are built alike. Some allow you to call anyone with a phone, while others restrict your calls to only other clients using the same VOIP service. You can choose between three different ways to set up a VOIP system on your computer.
You can use an ATA (analog voice adaptor) which performs the analog-to-digital conversion, and is plugged in to your computer at one end and your telephone at the other.
You can use an IP phone, a phone specifically made for use with VOIP. While the IP phone looks exactly like a normal phone, it's got special Ethernet connectors that allow it to be plugged into your router. They're even working on WIFI phones for VOIP that you can take with you to the various internet hotspots popping up all over the world.
Finally, you can make VOIP contact with your computer alone. Simply install the VOIP software, make sure you've got a microphone, speakers, an internet connection (high-speed is best, of course), and a sound card, and chat away.
One thing many VOIP-users love about it is the cost, or more accurately, the savings. By using VOIP you save yourself one unnecessary bill per month - your phone bill. VOIP charges, much cheaper usually than most people's phone bills, appear on your regular broadband bill.
Just like cell-phones, VOIP service is portable, at least as portable as your laptop. You no longer have to worry about shoddy cell phone coverage when you go away. As long as you can get internet access, you'll be able to use your VOIP.
A few disadvantages of VOIP to consider, however: VOIP may not respond well during power outages and problems with your server. If your internet connection for any reason goes out, so does your ability to place VOIP-facilitated phone calls.
When researching possible VOIP providers, keep in mind that not all of them let you make 9-1-1 or directory assistance calls. If you depend on services like these for simple peace of mind, make sure you find a VOIP provider that can accommodate.
It's a little known fact that many of the major telephone companies use VOIP technology already to be more efficient. So, unbeknownst to you, you may very well have already been making VOIP-enabled phone calls.
VOIP providers now compete to offer subscribers many of the same services we're used to getting from our telephone companies, such as call waiting, repeat dialing, return dialing, and three-way calling. You can also find VOIP providers that offer to filter your calls, giving you a range of options of what to do with calls sent from numbers you select.
Maybe you send the call to your voice mail, maybe the caller hears a message informing them that your phone number is no longer in service. You can even use VOIP to check your voicemail and send voice message as attachments to emails.
VOIP is only just revving up it's engines. It may not be long before every household in your neighborhood is VOIP-enabled.
About the Author
Robert Michael is a writer for Mico Voip which is an excellent place to find Voip links, resources and articles. For more information go to: http://www.micovoip.com