VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the term used to refer to telephone services that make use of Internet connections rather than traditional telephone lines. This technology allows for efficient communication, as it does not depend on your location and can be used anywhere there is an internet connection. There are several advantages that VoIP offers over conventional phone systems. While VoIP phones do not need to be connected to a telephone jack, they can be used with any broadband internet connection and may also incorporate features such as caller id, call forwarding, and call waiting. If the quality of your internet service is poor, you will have no problem connecting VoIP equipment to your high-speed internet via a broadband connection; even if your internet connection is slow or non-existent.
There are two primary ways to use VoIP,
either using your computer at home or a mobile device. You can “talk” to people on the other side of the world by using your computer’s voice with an IP (or internet access code) to send the message directly from your computer to the receiver. You can also “talk” using a mobile device with VoIP equipment attached to the handset or cellular adapter. Each option has its pros and cons and depending upon what your needs and desires are, you will want to select which one best meets your requirements.
The primary advantage of using a broadband internet connection to make calls and receive faxes online is the ability to make unlimited calls and faxes for one low monthly rate. In order to take advantage of this real-time feature, you must have a microphone, a line adapter, and an appropriate bandwidth for your VoIP service. Popular web-based VoIP services like Vonage utilize server-side technologies, while others use client-side technologies. Client-side technologies require your computer to download and install scripts or programs to enable VoIP service, while server-side programs work behind the scenes without your knowledge.
When comparing traditional phone systems against VoIP services,
it is important to remember that IP telephony uses transmission-speed rather than data transmission. This means that the rate at which your voice is transmitted is only as good as the speed at which your computer is traveling over the internet. For this reason, if you want to speak to someone quickly, with full clarity, it is imperative that your computer is fast enough to deliver the information quickly enough for you to do so. Speeding is a big factor in how good your VoIP service will be, because it is easy for you to get around if your internet connection is slow. For this reason, many people who choose to use VoIP often find they cannot tolerate the wait time required to talk on a regular phone.
One of the most significant differences between traditional phones and VoIP services may be the Caller ID. Traditional phone systems only allow you to see who is calling, but you have no way to know who is calling you. With VoIP services, you are able to see who is calling, so you can either make calls back or ask them to leave you a message. This feature is usually referred to as CCR or Call Rejection.
Another feature that is commonly misunderstood is the volume slider on the handset. Many people believe that this slider allows them to adjust the volume of the phone automatically when it rises above a certain level. While this may seem like a legitimate function, it is not what VoIP equipment actually does. If it did, everyone would have a phone with volume sliders on all their handsets.
The noise reduction feature is another feature that many people are unfamiliar with. The term “noise reduction” is used frequently among telephone users, but what it means is that the sound distortion caused by a phone call is minimized when the user is on a Wi-Fi network. Some users may hear conversations through their headphones even when on a Wi-Fi network, so you never need to worry about this. You may however hear noises when your phone is simply ringing. For these situations, you can turn the noise reduction on and save your ears from the irritating effects of a ring tone.
These are the primary features that you should expect to be included in any VoIP system you are considering. Other optional features that you might want to consider are video calling, which enables the use of a web cam when on your phone.
- Some VoIP equipment also allows users to use their cell phones as headsets, allowing them to talk on the phone while they are in a car or at home.
- You will find that most VoIP providers include a converter, which takes analog signals and convert them into digital data, and vice versa.
- This is also useful for anyone who makes international, long distance calls, as the converters can take those calls and convert them to a local long distance signal.