can give your phone service a Voip boost
VoIP (voice over ip) was
in the Consumer
Electronics and Computers section.
It explained that new
computer tech gadgets
enable phone calls to be made over a broadband internet connection. The Easy
Network articles in this section gave an overview of how a
necessary components required to set one up.
The intention here is to explore VoIP in
greater detail. This
way you will have a better understanding
of the various VoIP options available, the necessary components
required to set
up a VoIP network, and their associated costs/benefits.
Although VoIP has
recently been popping up on the radar as a
new technology, certain variations of it have been around for several
websites used to allow long
distance phone calls from your computer to a telephone via the internet. The clarity was decent, at
best, but we used
it because cell phones were not as readily available and long distance
was expensive at the time. I
know a lot
of my friends and I bought calling cards when we got to college because
had a cell phone. When
we discovered the
website that allowed us to call for free, we took advantage of it. I can’t remember the name
of the site now
that I think about it. Regardless,
the end, we saved money calling home.
For those of us that called home rather
frequently, the free service was
None of us minded that
the clarity wasn’t as good as a
regular phone, or that we had to wait until one person finished
beginning to talk, because there wasn’t a cheap alternative. Once the cell
phone came out, internet phone
calling with its’ sub-par quality was already a thing of the past. It hadn’t even gotten a
mainstream. So, why
are we hearing more
and more about VoIP internet phone calling now that cell phones are as
as ever? It’s the
Remember when long
distance calling from a landline was
almost never wanted to
dial someone out of town because you didn’t want your phone bill to go
the roof. For those
of us that had
access to a computer and a headset, we opted to call over the internet. Some cell phones came out
separate local and long distance packages so you still had to be wary
amount of long distance minutes you were using.
They also separated your plan based on daytime
minutes. Then cell
phones came out with
their all inclusive price packages.
could pay once price per month and you could call anywhere in the U.S.
wanted at no extra cost. Then
unlimited talk options. On
top of that,
the clarity of the phone call over a cell phone was stunningly good. For as little as $20 or
$30 per month you
could make unlimited phone calls, local and long distance.
Now that text messaging,
emailing, web-browsing, GPS,
picture, and video capture are becoming “necessities”, the calling
changing to reflect that demand. Instead
of your calling plan being $20 or $30 per month, once again we find the
varies based on different services you have access to.
of getting cheaper, they are getting more expensive.
For a basic plan you have to pay nearly $50 a
unlimited texting, and
internet you might as well tack on another $30 a month.
Add GPS and you are looking at
it crazy that you pay
$100/month for something that your computer has been able to do all
along? Some cell
phones aren’t allowed to be
purchased without also agreeing to sign up for the “optional” data
plan. So, if
you want to purchase a new phone, you also have to upgrade your service. This is due to the all of
the features that
are built into the phone itself.
There is no wonder why
internet phone calling is suddenly
back on the radar. Most
the internet cost nothing additionally above the cost of your basic
service plan. Once
phone calling becomes significantly cheaper than any other form of
biggest setback is the lack
of mobility that is associated with VoIP that places it second to cell
despite its’ cheaper cost. The
key is determining
how you can save with VoIP and why the technology may take the place of
landline and cell phone calling in the very near future.
phone calls can be made using a regular phone, a computer, or a special
option you choose requires
a high-speed broadband connection.
is due to the amount of bandwidth that an internet phone call utilizes. An internet phone call is
converted and sent in
the form of digital packets. They
converted back into recognizable audio once they reach the call
network that is large enough and
sophisticated enough to convert, carry and route all of these digital
world-wide is necessary to enable quality phone calling. Since networks were
already explained, I
won’t get into the details. I
that network development is a key aspect to VoIP success.
If you have a broadband
connection, you can use a regular
phone and a VoIP adapter that converts the signal and connects it to
network. This is a
viable option for
many residential consumers looking to take advantage of VoIP. Another option well suited
for businesses are
VoIP phones look much like regular
business phones with all of the features right on the front of the
calling, conferencing, call forwarding, call holding, etc). They are
hosting and routing multiple phones calls.
VoIP phones plug directly into a broadband
One of the most
advantageous aspects of VoIP comes when
using your computer to call. Computers
already give you access to email, spreadsheets, data transfer,
streaming. If you
add phone calling to
the mix you have a complete audio/video/data communications device
your fingertips. If
you already own a
computer (and headset) it makes it even cheaper to take advantage of
because there is no additional hardware to purchase.
If you own a laptop, you can take your
communication and phone calling capabilities on the go with you. The only thing you need is
access to a
wireless network. As
develops, VoIP will too!
Many VoIP service
providers allow free phone calls between
their customers. This
is similar to the
Verizon Wireless “In-Network” advantage.
As more and more people switch to VoIP, a
greater number of your phone
calls become in-network and free.
difference between local and long-distance calling become obsolete over
internet and associated costs are therefore significantly cheaper. For businesses, branches
of the same company
that are located in different cities can now stay connected as if they
operating under the same roof. Video
conferencing, file sharing, and presentations become much more
information is readily available to everyone when you are hosting a
VoIP also offers other
ways to save other than on cheaper
phone calling. Rather
expensive cell phones and signing new contracts with your wireless
purchasing VoIP hardware and signing up for VoIP service doesn’t have
to be as
costly. You can
compare prices between
VoIP service providers just as you would do with a landline or cell
provider. You can
pick a plan that best
suits your needs. If
you own a business
and have to install some network components, you can often find deals
networking products, such as network
cables, routers, and switches, especially when buying them in
the payback period is relatively
short when you save money on all of the long-distance calls your
and would otherwise be paying for under traditional telephone service
As mentioned before, if
you own your own your own computer and have a broadband connection,
all you have to purchase is a headset.
However, even if you are opting to purchase an
adapter to use with you
existing telephone, or purchasing a special VoIP phone, there are ways
residential consumers, there
is no sense in purchasing a brand new business
VoIP phone when
you can buy a simple VoIP adapter and use it with your existing
telephone. If you
are setting up VoIP for your business,
you can save money on purchasing VoIP phones by buying them used. Used
phones often are
resold at a fraction of the cost.
Refurbished phones sometimes are in like new
condition but had one minor
repair made to them. Most
of the time, refurbished
with a full manufacturer’s warranty.
provides additional savings to companies setting up large networks.
Unlike standard phone service that requires direct wiring to all
connected phones, Voip technology manages packets to route multiple
calls on the same lines. The control is mostly provided by software.
This greatly simplifies new deployments and provides tremendous cost
As mentioned in
Electronics and Computers section, VoIP does have
some drawbacks. Primarily,
the drawbacks have to do with IP
address calling instead of having a phone number with a local area code. IP addresses are not as
distinguishable according to location.
You can travel with your IP address to various
locations and when you
dial our or receive phone calls over your computer, your exact location
not be known. This
poses problems for
911 services because they cannot trace your phone call if you are in an
If you are using your
computer, it has to be on to receive a
phone call for some services. Others
require you to at lease leave your router on. If you
shut down, you lose
access to your phone calls. If
have wireless access where you are traveling, once again, you lose
phone calls. VoIP
phones and regular
phones that use VoIP adapters are not like cell phones.
They are hard-wired and must be plugged
mobility is a problem
with VoIP. Wireless
vastly improve so that carrying a laptop (or smaller computer device)
similar to carrying a cell phone as far as convenience is concerned. You’d have to be able to
keep your computer
on, or boot it fairly quickly to
make or receive a phone call on the go.
The good news is that I do
believe we are not
too far from developing it.
In general, VoIP is
cheaper but not as accessible or mobile
as a cell phone. It
does enable faster
and more efficient data transfer to be incorporated into audio and
calling. It makes
for a viable business
communications solution. Strong
hardwired and wireless network infrastructures and highly mobile
devices are the key to VoIP success.
Higgins of CXtec
from Voip Communications to Ask the Computer Doc home
Easy Home Network Roadmap