Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Some VoIP services may only allow you to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number – including local, long-distance, mobile, and international numbers. Also, while some Voice Over IP ( VOIP ) services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter.
How VoIP / Internet Voice Works
Voice Over IP ( VOIP ) services convert your voice into a digital signal that travels over the Internet. If you are calling a regular phone number, the signal is converted to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the destination. VoIP can allow you to make a call directly from a computer, a special VoIP phone, or a traditional phone connected to a special adapter. In addition, wireless “hot spots” in locations such as airports, parks, and cafes allow you to connect to the Internet and may enable you to use VoIP service wirelessly.
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?
A broadband (high-speed Internet) connection is required. This can be through a cable modem or high-speed services such as DSL or a local area network. sort by computer, adaptor, or specialized phone is required. Some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special Voice Over IP ( VOIP ) phone, while other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter. If you use your computer, you will need some software and an inexpensive microphone. Special VoIP phones plug directly into your broadband connection and operate largely like a traditional telephone. If you use a telephone with a VoIP adapter, you’ll be able to dial just as you always have, and the service provider may also provide a dial tone.
Advantages of VOIP
Some VoIP services offer features and services that are not available with a traditional phone, or are available but only for an additional fee. You may also be able to avoid paying for both a broadband connection and a traditional telephone line.
Disadvantages of VOIP
If you’re considering replacing your traditional telephone service with VoIP, there are some possible differences:
- Some Voice Over IP ( VOIP ) services don’t work during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power.
- Not all VoIP services connect directly to emergency services through 9-1-1.
- VoIP providers may or may not offer directory assistance/white page listings.