What Is VOIP And How Does It Work?
Tired of paying crazy long distance or international call charge? VOIP is here to save your business(or at least your phone bill). VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and can save you an absolute fortune on phone calls. The technology behind VOIP means that your voice can be sent as a data signal over the Internet - bypassing normal phone lines and at much, much lower costs that a normal phone call.
VOIP can be used to make a phone call from one computer to another, from a computer to a standard phone line or even from one phone to another phone. At current rates VOIP will be 75% of the the worlds call traffic by 2012.
When VOIP technology was first used ,in the mid to late 90's, calls were made from computer to computer. The voice quality was patchy and very few people outside of universities or computer companies knew anything about VOIP at all.
VOIP needs a broadband connection to be truly effective and in the early days of the Internet many people were still using dial-up Internet access.
Now we have actual VOIP handsets which look and work just like a normal phone. The handsets can still be quite costly so many VOIP users are still making calls via their computer using a headset or microphone and speaker combo.
The big advantage of VOIP is the low cost of calls. With software like Skype you can make VOIP calls to friends for free. Even if you need to dial their home or cellphone number the costs are still very low. Personally I've made a 60 minute international call to Canada for less than 1c per minute. Incredible stuff!
VOIP has lots of other attractive features too however. Call forwarding, international call forwarding, caller id by number, caller id by name, call-waiting, call-waiting caller id, disable call waiting, distinctive ringing, repeat dialing, return dial and three-way calling. The technology provides several other advantages such as call blocking, call filtering, sequential ringing, secondary virtual phone number, additional service lines, toll-free numbers and web-based management.
VOIP is an old technology that has been reborn with the introduction of broadband on a wide scale. The voice quality has improved dramatically as have the security measures to protect your digital voice data.
The next few years should be very interesting indeed for phone companies all over the world.