What Do You Know About VoIP?

What is VoIP

VoIP is an acronym for voice over internet protocol, aka voice over ip phone. A VoIP, in essence, is a computer phone that allows you to make phone calls from your computer to anyone in the world, e.g., PC to PC, PC to phones ? landlines or cells.

The voice signal converts to data packets and travels across the internet through a VoIP platform, and then converts back to voice at the receiving end of the communication exchange. Leading telecom experts are projecting that 75% of the world's communications will be done on VoIP within the next several years.

What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?

You will need a computer with internet access and an inexpensive microphone if your computer does not have one built in. Although most VoIP voice over ip phone providers require high speed internet connections, there are a few that can be used on dial-up connections.

How Can I Place a Call or Receive a Call?

Basically, the same way you would a regular phone, except on your PC. When you download a VoIP voice over ip phone line on your computer, a phone usually appears on your screen. The computer phone acts like any other phone in that you can dial numbers on it from a pad, or click on a contact's pre-programmed name, and press the call button. You will then hear the phone ringing to the party you have called and can talk to them when they accept the call.

When receiving a call, the phone will ring on your computer and you can click to accept the call and talk, or let it ring (based on the number of rings you have set up) and forward the caller to your voicemail.

What Kind of Features Does a VoIP Phone Have?

Typically a VoIP voice over ip phone not only has audio capabilities, but also three-way calling, text messaging, and contacts list. Some VoIPs even have webcam capabilities. In addition, there is usually a button to click that can indicate to others when you are available, unavailable, away, or off line.

Who Can I Call Using a VoIP Phone?

Most reputable VoIP computer phone providers limit PC to PC calls among their own subscribers for privacy purposes so that the quality of sound is not compromised.

Most reputable VoIP voice over ip phone providers have their own patented technology.

Some VoIP solutions providers require limiting PC to phone landlines or cells to their own subscribers, while others do not.

Advantages of VoIP

? With VoIP computer phones, you have unlimited talk time to anyone in the world from PC to PC for a flat monthly rate

? Most VoIP voice over ip phone providers offer drastically reduced costs for calling PC to landlines

? Most VoIP's offer reduced costs for calling PC to cell phones, however, prices often vary depending on the cell phone carrier.

? Savings of up to 80% off current phone bills.

What are the Costs for VoIPs?

Typically there is an activation fee which varies between $20.00 to hundreds of dollars, although some are hidden. Monthly fees, after enrollment, varies between $5.00 per month to $99.95 per month. If you do not have a microphone on your computer, you would have to purchase one. Cost is between $5.00 to $40.00.

Things to Watch Out For with VoIP Services

? Hidden costs

? Unsecure lines - meaning anyone can listen to your conversation because of shared servers or open platforms, thus making you vulnerable to viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and unscrupulous hackers, which ultimately can corrupt your computer and create a costly computer crash.

? Inability to be used with dial-up connections

? Public listing of your name and/or phone number

? Many VoIP services have spyware.

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