Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allowing you to make voice calls over a broadband Internet connection instead of an analog (regular) phone line. Some VoIP services allow you to call people using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone. They can have a telephone number – including local, long-distance, mobile, and international numbers or not. Some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone while other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter.
How VoIP / Internet Voice Works –
Voice is converted into a digital signal by VoIP services that travel over the Internet. If the regular phone number is called, the signal is converted to a regular telephone signal i.e. an analog signal before it reaches the destination. VoIP can allow you to make a call directly from a computer having a special VoIP phone, or a traditional phone connected to a special adapter. Wireless hot spots in locations such as airports, hospitals, cafes, etc allow you to connect to the Internet and can enable you to use VoIP service wirelessly.
Equipments Required –
A high-speed Internet connection is required which can be through a cable modem or high-speed services such as a local area network. A computer, adaptor, or specialized phone is required. Some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone. Other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter. If you use your computer some software and an inexpensive microphone are needed. VoIP phones plug directly into your broadband connection and operate largely like a traditional telephone. If you use a telephone with a VoIP adapter, you can dial just as you always have, and the service provider may also provide a dial tone.
Advantages of VoIP –
- Some VoIP services offer features and services that are not available with a traditional phone, or are available but only for an additional fee.
- Paying for both a broadband connection and a traditional telephone line can be avoided.
- Smoother connection than an analog signal can be provided.
Disadvantages of VoIP –
- Some VoIP services don’t work during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power.
- Not all VoIP services connect directly to emergency services through emergency service numbers.
- VoIP providers may or may not offer directory assistance.
Comparison of VoIP vs. Traditional Phone Services
||Traditional Phone Services
|Method of transmission
||Yes, high-speed broadband
||No, traditional phone line
||Lower cost for long-distance
||Higher cost for long-distance
|Features and services
||More features and services
||Limited features and services
||May not work
|Emergency services access
||May not connect directly
||May or may not be available