Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology in which voice calls are made using the Internet instead of a regular telephone line. It allows consumers to bypass the telephone network resulting in greatly reduced fees.
How Does VoIP Work?:
VoIP makes calls by converting analog phone signals into digital format and translating the signal into the IP protocol for transmission over the Internet. On the receiving side, the process is reversed.
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?:
A broadband Internet connection (provided by a cable company or highspeed DSL service) is required along with a computer, telephone adapter or a special IP phone.
Three Connection Types:
A VoIP adapter allows you to connect your standard phone to your Internet connection for use with VoIP. IP phones connect directly to your router and have the necessary software built in. Computer-to-computer calls allow you to make free calls, no matter what the distance.
Advantages of VoIP:
In bypassing the telephone network, consumers can realize significant savings on long-distance fees. By combining phone and Internet access with a broadband provider, consumers may eliminate the cost of a traditional telephone.
Disadvantages of VoIP:
If power goes out, the analog phone still works, except for cordless phones. With VoIP, no power means no phone. In addition, the signal (voice) quality may be subject to garbling, delays and other annoyances.