What is VoIP?
VoIP is Voice Over Internet Protocol. It is the technology used to allow Internet Phone or Broadband Phone to function. Most long distance calls are currently carried over the internet; VoIP simply makes this connection directly. It converts the voice into a data signal and transmits it over the internet. Through your high speed internet connection it uses the same IP network as your internet service. With Broadband Phone, hardware adapters which connect a standard phone to the broadband internet are used. It works well with DSL or cable modems but is not effective with dial-up connections. SIP phones (Session Initiation Protocol Phones) can also be utilized with VoIP and do not require an adapter. VoIP calls now have similar sound quality as calls from traditional services. Calls can be made to, and received from, any number; wireless, other VoIP services, traditional services, local, long distance, or international.
What equipment is needed to use Broadband Phone?
A high speed internet connection is needed and a VoIP adapter with a traditional phone. A SIP phone can be used rather than an adapter and traditional phone if desired.
What are some of the features of VoIP services?
Features vary based on the calling plan selected. Most now offer access to 911 but you should inquire before purchasing. Many VoIP plans offer significant savings over traditional services; frequently offering features such as caller ID, Voice Mail, Call Waiting and similar options at no additional cost. Many plans also offer long distance calling at no additional charge. VoIP is portable as well. If you take your Adapter or your SIP phone when you travel you can use them wherever a high speed connection is available. Because your VoIP phone number is attached to the portable adapter or SIP phone, all calls placed from them are considered "local".
Are there other things to consider before purchasing VoIP services?
You can continue use of your computer while calling with your VoIP phone however, you do need to know that the phone will not operate when the internet service is not functioning. Therefore, having a cell phone or traditional phone as back up in emergencies is recommended.
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