By Michael Brito (c) 2006
There was a dreadful time in history when the telecom regime (local telephone companies) held consumers captive by charging high prices for telephone service. To make matters worse, this regime would nickel and dime consumers to death for additional features like voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, and call forwarding. Not to mention their customer service or lack thereof, was and still is a horrifying experience. This long history of monopolizing the telecommunication industry has finally come to an end. It’s time for a regime change. Consumers now have an alternative â€“ introducing VoIP.
VoIP, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls over an existing Internet connection instead of a regular (analog) telephone line. Some services that use VoIP only allow you to call other people using the same service, usually done when making PC to PC phone-calls. Other services allow you to call anyone, anywhere (as long as they have a telephone number) including: local & long dÃ¯stance, mobile, and international numbers. This type of VoIP service allows you to use a traditional telephone that plugs directly into a phÃ¶ne adapter.
The great thing about VoIP is that all the additional features are included in the monthly fee. These features include: unlÃ¯mited local & long dÃ¯stance calls into the US & Canada, voicemail, call waiting, caller id, three-way, just to name a few. Most VoIP service providers typically charge between $20 and $25 dollars a month.
VoIP is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to completely redesign the entire world’s communication infrastructure. VoIP providers have already been around for several years and growing at a tremendous rate. Currently, there are over 6 million users of VoIP worldwide and that number is growing exponentially.
FAQ About VoIP
1. Can You Provide Me With a Brief Explanation of VoIP?
VoIP allows you to make telephone calls over an existing Internet connection. VoIP converts a voice signal (analog) from your telephone into a digital signal that then travels over the Internet to the desired location. It then converts the digital signal back to analog so the person on the other end can hear what you are saying.
2. How Do I Make a VoIP PhÃ¶ne Call?
The first step of making a VoIP phÃ¶ne call is to subscribe to a service. Once you sign up for service, the VoIP service provider will then send you a broadband phÃ¶ne adapter, which plugs directly into your internet connection. You will then have to plug your existing telephone into the phÃ¶ne adapter. Lastly, all you have to do is pick up the telephone and dial the number.
3. What Kind Of Equipment Do I Need to Use VoIP?
You need three things in order to use VoIP:
(a) A high-speed Internet connection (either cable or DSL);
(b) A broadband phÃ¶ne adapter (provided by the VoIP service provider); and
(c) Any standard (analog or digital) telephone.
Is there a difference when placing a local or long dÃ¯stance call when using VoIP? Not really. VoIP phÃ¶ne calls are made just the same way as traditional calls are made. When dialing local calls, all you have to do is dial 7 digits (555-1212) and when dialing long dÃ¯stance, all you have to do is dial 11 digits (1-408-555-1212).
4. Can I Call Anyone Using VoIP?
Yes. You can call anyone, anywhere as long as they have a valid telephone number. It can be a local call, long dÃ¯stance call, international call, cellphone, toll frÃ«e, 911 (assuming they have E911 capability) and 411 directory assistance. Most VoIP providers will not allow calls to 900 or 976 telephone numbers, nor will they accept collect calls.
5. What are Some Advantages of Using VoIP?
(a) Cost – Most VoIP providers charge between $20 and $25 a month.
(b) UnlÃ¯mited calling in the U.S and Canada.
(c) All the features are included (voicemail, caller id, call waiting, 3-way, call forwarding and much more)
(d) VoIP is portable. You can take the phÃ¶ne adapter anywhere where there is an existing Internet connection, plug it in and make calls as if you were at home.
(e) The ability to choose your own area code. You can live in New York and choose to have a California telephone number.
6. Are There Any Disadvantages of Using VoIP? Yes.
(a) If the power goes out in your home you will also lÃ¶se your Internet connection, which means that your phÃ¶ne service will also be down. Some VoIP service providers offer a feature that allows customers to designate a forwarding number if their Internet connection goes down for any reason.
(b) Not all VoIP Providers offer E911. This means that if you call 911 from your VoIP phÃ¶ne, it may not go to the local public dispatcher. Rather, it will get routed to an answering service first.
(c) Call Quality. At certain times of the day, the call quality of phÃ¶ne conversations will suffer. This could be due to bandwidth sharing, or slow Internet connection.
7. Do I Need a Computer to Use VoIP?
No. Although most VoIP customers do have a computer, one is not needed. The broadband phÃ¶ne adapter simply plugs into a router (or modem) to get a connection.
8. Can I Use VoIP When I Travel?
Yes. You can use your VoIP service wherever you travel as long as you have a high speed Internet connection available and you bring your broadband phÃ¶ne adapter and telephone with you.
9. How Will I Know if Someone is Calling Me from a VoIP PhÃ¶ne?
You won’t. The VoIP phÃ¶ne works just like a traditional telephone. The quality and experience is that good.
Join the rebellion aimed at overthrowing the telecommunications industry by force. Switch to VoIP today and start saving tomorrow.
To learn more about VoIP, visit: http://www.packet8.net.
About The Author
Michael Brito is an internet marketing consultant for a variety of consumer products and services. Visit his website at: http://www.michaelbrito.com.