VoIP is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband internet connection instead of an analog phone line.
How it works?
VoIP uses services that convert your voice into digital information sent over the internet. With VoIP you can call directly from a computer using a VoIP phone or using a regular phone with a VoIP adapter. You can also use VoIP in wireless spots such as the airport and restaurants.
What do I need?
To use VoIP you have to have a broadband internet connection. You will also need a computer, special adapter, or a VoIP specialized phone. If you are using a computer you will need a VoIP specialized software and microphone. Specialized VoIP phones connect to your broadband connection and operate like a regular telephone.
The biggest advantage of using VoIP over traditional phone services is the cost. VoIP calls between service users are typically free and international calls are lower in cost. You can also use VoIP with a smartphone or other devices with an internet connection. VoIP can increase the functionality over traditional phone systems. Incoming phone calls are automatically routed to your VoIP phone. VoIP also simply has more features available over traditional phones.
Types of VoIP
You can use VoIP in many different ways. VoIP has three distinct types of service in use today:
ATA – This is the most commonly used type of service and probably the easiest. ATA (which stands for Analog Telephone Adaptor) allows you connect a regular phone to your computer or internet connection using VoIP. ATA converts analog signals to digital signals over the internet. Installation is easy and is basically just plug in and call.
IP Phones- IP Phones look exactly like regular phones, but where they differ is in their phone connectors. IP Phones use RJ-45 Ethernet connector instead of the traditional RJ-11. IP Phones connect right to your router. Wi-Fi phones allow subscribers to make VoIP calls from any Wi-Fi hotspot.
Computer-To-Computer – CTC is probably the most cost effective route with VoIP. All you need is a computer, internet connection (preferably DSL/Cable), a microphone, speakers, and a sound card. You will also need the software of service provider. Usually the software is very low cost or even free (Skype). You also get long distance calls for free.
Two of the more popular VoIP software applications are Skype and Face Time.
Skype – Skype is a little different than other VoIP protocols because it operates on a peer-to-peer model rather than a client-server model. Skype is available on almost all the major operating systems. Skype is also free to use and has very low cost international calls. You can basically use Skype for all your telephone needs, except that of calling an emergency number.
Face Time- Face Time is developed by Apple and was released June 24th, 2010. Face Time is only used for Apple products such as iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac OSX operating systems. Face Time is not free, but can be purchased from the Apple Store for $0.99.
Execusoft Controls offers services specializing in design and implementation of phone infrastructure. ESC also can configure and customize VoIP phone systems. For more information check out our products page and our communications page.
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