Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a technique and relatively new set of technologies for the transmission of voice and audio transmissions over Internet Protocol networks, including the Internet itself. It is often used in conjunction with video. Internet telephony services are becoming increasingly common as users demand low-cost options for long distance phone calls and other kinds of long-distance communication.
VoIP providers can provide this service to individual consumers as well as businesses that using an Internet connection for voice applications. The providers generally use the same technology as their traditional telephone service provider. However, some providers offer their services using completely different technologies. For example, a VoIP provider may offer a high-speed Internet connection (a DSL or cable connection) at considerably lower costs than the same service offered by a traditional telephone company. While both types of connections allow calls to be placed and received at high-quality levels, the services are very different from each other and require different services and features.
With a traditional telephone service, you make calls using a conventional telephone handset. You pay a fee per each call and use the minutes provided to call others. If you want more calls, additional fees apply. And if your budget is tight, you cannot enjoy a full-fledged Internet connection with a traditional phone service provider.
But you can make international telephone calls using a broadband connection. In this case, your Internet service provider may be able to give you a special phone connected to the network. This special phone connects to the public switched telephone network, allowing you to make local or long distance calls at a much lower cost than what a regular telephone line would cost. These “unified” lines are usually physical lines that are connected to the Internet to prevent disruption to normal telephone service. The connection is so reliable that it is often possible to place calls even when there is no Internet access available. You may also have a voice mail box attached to your Internet service provider’s broadband connection.
Some companies have developed special phones called VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phones that are similar to a regular telephone, but are not limited to use with a regular telephone. Instead, they are connected to a broadband connection via a VoIP service. The voice communication occurs in the same way as it occurs with a regular telephone, through the connection of a digital signal to your computer. The only difference is that VoIP calls are converted into data that can be sent over the Internet instead of over regular phone lines.
A VoIP phone operates like a regular telephone with the exception that it utilizes digital technology instead of analog. The call features include call waiting, call forwarding, three-way conferencing, call waiting, call forwarding, call return, call waiting, voice to email, and much more. This makes it very easy to conduct business on the Internet using just your computer. If the system used is VoIP based, you will still need a high-speed Internet connection to make or receive calls. Otherwise, you will lose the ability to make or receive calls as well as being unable to use the services.
To use any of these services you will need to have a broadband Internet connection. It may be provided by your Internet service provider; however, many providers bundle this service along with VoIP. In this case you will not need any special equipment. Most voice over IP providers will provide the voice service and then the broadband Internet service as a part of one plan. So, if you subscribe to a voice over internet service plan and use a regular broadband connection you can make unlimited calls and receive unlimited local calls as well.
Of course, you do need to make sure that your computer has adequate memory to process all of the voice data that you are sending and receiving. That way you will not have to wait for long periods of time for your telephone to ring just to be able to dial out to make a call. If you have a slow Internet connection the voice communication will likely take a little longer to arrive than it would if you had a faster connection; however, the quality of the calls that you make will be far better than those made with a slow connection.