How does VoIP work?
Monday, June 8th, 2009
How VoIP works
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can be a fantastic way to get the most out of your high speed Internet connection and make low cost local and long distance phone calls. VoIP phone systems basically take standard analog voice audio signals and digitize them into data signals, like those you receive when uploading or downloading files through the Internet.
As long as your Internet connection remains alive, you have low cost VoIP telephone service. There are many telecommunications experts who predict that, like the expanded use of cell phones, residential VoIP and business VoIP may eliminate the need for any landline phone service in the future.
There are three primary methods of using Voice over IP phone service today:
- What is commonly termed "ATA." Using an analog telephone adapter, your computer transfers standard telephone analog signals to digital data. This hardware acts much like a “mini-modem” you use for dial up connections. (Please note, you cannot use a dial up Internet service for VoIP calls.) This is the most common and easiest of methods.
- Voice over IP phone. You can purchase specially configured telephone handsets that have a network (Ethernet) connection instead of a standard phone plug and have all necessary software hard wired to eliminate any additional hardware to convert analog signals to digital data. You can even buy one of these that allow you to place calls wherever there is a present WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) connection to give you wireless VoIP.
- VoIP calling computer-to-computer. If you have a sound card, microphone, and speakers for your PC, you can place free VoIP calls to others with the same configuration. Using this form of broadband VoIP means your only cost should be your standard monthly high speed Internet (cable, DSL, FiOS, T1, etc.) access fee charged by your IP provider.
As you can see, VoIP service is quite simple, low cost, and provides you with a good number of options as to how you want to use it.
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