How to Make VoIP Work for YouIf you own a small business, you may be aware of the importance of cutting costs, especially in today's market. Making phone calls, especially if they're long distance, can really affect your budget. VoIP service providers are around to make your calls - even if they're global - relatively inexpensive.
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. It works by taking analog signals - like a dial tone - and making it digital. Using the Internet, phone calls to other countries can be placed for a fraction of what it costs to make traditional land line international calls. Eventually, VoIP will replace the old method of calling, because it is cheaper and easier to use.
There are three ways to use VoIP:
ATA: connects your phone to your computer, and converts the analog signal to digital. IP phones: these may look like ordinary phones, but they have Ethernet connectors that connect to your router to allow for calls to be made from any area with available Wi-Fi.
Computer to computer is probably the easiest way to use VoIP. You just need a microphone, speakers, Internet, a sound card, and if you want to enjoy the possibilities of interfacing, a camera. Most new computers come equipped with all of these items. Once you download the software for VoIP and you have a friend who also has it, you can call each other, and learn the technology firsthand.
Softphone technology allows you to make calls on your computer. VoIP gives you for free many features that phone companies charge extra for. These may include: call waiting, three way calling, caller ID, call transfer, and call filtering services to help you avoid unwanted phone calls.
When you use VoIP, a phone call is treated like a web page or an e-mail. The access to another computer is processed when you need it, or when you send a message, which is much more efficient than the traditional way of calling, which is by keeping a line constantly open. Whereas most of the information processed in a normal phone conversation is silence, due to one end being quiet, or both parties not speaking, digital information allows for the compression of information. This form of compression increases the quality of the transmitted voices. The bandwidth, or measure of transferable data, has greatly improved over the past five years, and it will likely continue to do so.
As technology continues to improve, expect more and more people to start using VoIP. Anywhere with Internet allows for a VoIP call to be placed. One of the few disadvantages of VoIP is that most services still rely on an external power source, which means if power goes out, there's no way to make a call. This can be a factor if you find yourself in the position of using VoIP to make emergency calls. But who knows? In a few years, this problem will probably be resolved, and most people will use VoIP.
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