A Look at Internet Voice Technology (VoIP) for Residential

Today's Technology

Over the years, the technology has made remarkable progress. Telephony's improved data compression rate, better sound quality, and the availability of residential broadband has given consumers more affordable solutions with even more features than you might have currently. Today, there are a number of available service providers with most offering the equipment for free along with pricing packages that can reduce your phone bills by up to 50% or more.

How It Works

Internet Voice, commonly known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), uses your broadband Internet connection to make and receive phone calls instead of your regular phone line. It works by converting your phone calls to data packets and sends the information over your Internet connection, like email, and is received on the other end just like a regular phone call.

Source: Vonage.com

What's the advantage? Using your Internet connection instead of your phone line is less expensive. You can call anywhere, anytime for less and still get features like Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Caller ID, 3-way Calling, and so much more.

One common misconception about VoIP is that it's a bandwidth hog, when, in fact, voice is a very efficient type of traffic. As a rule of thumb, 14 Kbps of bandwidth per call is ideal. This includes the compressed voice packet and the IP overhead. While your broadband connection will range from 768 Kbps ? 1.5 Mbps, this is negligible and not worth concerning yourself over.

The Disadvantages

If you're considering replacing your traditional telephone service with Internet Voice, there are some things you should consider when looking at the various providers.

Some Internet Voice services don't work during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power; Additional steps may be required for setting up 911 calls where you will need to register an address for location identification; or

DSL users cannot completely eliminate their land line because the broadband runs through this connection; or They may or may not offer white page listings.

Let's Talk Features

VoIP service providers offer different packages to fit your specific needs. Actual usage, desired features, and potential expansion capabilities will be the determining factors when selecting a package. The basic plans most VoIP providers offer include:

Low-cost Basic with Limited Usage
Unlimited US and Canada calls
Unlimited Business with Fax

You're almost certain to save money switching to VoIP. Not only is the monthly service itself generally less expensive than your current phone company's monthly service, the features you get with VoIP are much more extensive and are, most of the time, offered for free. Features like:

Web Based Administration ? Allows you to configure your phone settings and log all your calls in real time.

Caller ID ? Standard with all VoIP service providers.

Voice Mail ? Replaces your answering machine and lets you listen to voice messages on-line.

Call forwarding ? Forward calls to your cell, office, or any other number after a predetermined number of rings.

Portability ? Take your phone adapter anywhere around the world, use your same phone number, and call anytime, anywhere in the US for free, and vice-versa

Software Phone ? this application can be installed on any PC and will function exactly the same way as any VoIP phone

Call Transfer
3-way conferencing v Call return
What You Need

An Internet connection - While VoIP works with a regular 56kbps dial-up connection, it is highly recommended you use a Cable or DSL broadband connection.

A Computer ? The only reason you will need a computer (PC or Mac) is to configure the phone adaptor to work with your broadband service provider. Once this is done, you will not need to do this again.

A Digital Phone Adapter ? DPA's, also referred to as phone adapters, are provided mostly free of charge. This is similar to your Cable/DSL router that converts the signal to use a regular phone or fax unit.

A Telephone ? There are also options for plugging in multiple phones to a single DPA unit.

A VoIP Service provider ? There are several available. Here are a few you might want to check out:

1. Vonage

2. Packet8

3. Lingo

4. AT&T CallVantage

5. Verizon

Get More Info

VoIP-Info.org - This web site covers everything related to VoIP - software, hardware, service providers, reviews, configurations, standards, tips & tricks and everything else related to voice over IP networks, IP telephony and Internet Telephony.

FCC - The Federal Communications Commission provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions for those looking to switch to VoIP.

VoIP User Forum - An independent information guide to Internet Telephony

Disclaimer - The Micro 2000 Tech Tip is a free service providing information only. While we use reasonable care to see that this information is correct, we do not guarantee it for accuracy, completeness or fitness for a particular purpose. Micro 2000, Inc. shall not be liable for damages of any kind in connection with the use or misuse of this information.

Micro 2000 Inc has been helping to solve the day-to-day challenges that IT departments face in order to keep their businesses operational as well as profitable for over 14 years. The company's primary goal is to put the customer first - through feature-rich, simple-to-use IT tools that can help IT administrators manage their jobs more effectively.

For more advice and free articles be sure to visit: http://www.micro2000.co.uk

In The News:

6 Key Benefits of VoIP  MarketScale Industries
Advantages and disadvantages of VoIP for your business  Business MattersBusiness Matters
How Switching to VoIP Can Save Your Business Money  Business MattersBusiness Matters

How Much Bandwidth is Required for VoIP Phones?

A long-standing question for potential VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)... Read More

A Look at Internet Voice Technology (VoIP) for Residential

Today's TechnologyOver the years, the technology has made remarkable progress.... Read More

Use your Computer to make Cheap Long-Distance Telephone Calls

What is 'VoIP'?Simply put, VoIP refers to the carriage of... Read More

Do You Text Chat (IM) Online?

IM (Instant Messaging) - man, we thought we had it... Read More

Consumer Review on CallWave Call Alert Service

Missing phone calls while you are online?Are you thinking of... Read More

Why Over 90% of VoIP Services Are Vulnerable to Attack

John Ashcroft, Attorney General, in remarks at the High Technology... Read More

Needless HIGH RISK Exposure For Business Using Computer Phones

The Facts? Computer phones (VoIP) offer the most optimal means... Read More

Take Your Home or Business Phone With You When You Travel

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone service uses a broadband... Read More

VOIP Questions and Answers

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, has grown in popularity... Read More

Voice over Internet Protocal VoIP for Business

VoIP consists of 2 major technologies....Making Calls Over the Internet--ResidentialThis... Read More

The Calling Card Alternative

For a few years now, the calling cards business is... Read More

Is VoIP Good For The Home?

There is no doubt that you have heard about VoIP... Read More

VOIP For Your Business

Many companies are now beginning to look into alternatives to... Read More

Alarm Systems & VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Phone Lines

An astounding and unexpected number of people are dropping their... Read More

6 Important Things You Should Consider When You Are Selecting A VoIP Provider

The following are 6 very important factors to consider when... Read More

VoIP 101: Voice over IP for Beginners

For those who have never heard about the potential of... Read More

Making PC to Phone VoIP Calls over Dial-Up Internet Connections

There's a lot of hype these days surrounding Internet-based voice... Read More

VoIP Phone Home?

The movie Extra Terrestrial (ET) coined the phrase "phone home"... Read More

Faxing over VoIP

As far as VoIP has come in Voice telephone calls,... Read More

What Do You Know About VoIP?

What is VoIPVoIP is an acronym for voice over internet... Read More

VoIP: Finally Worth a Look

Dear Internet Friends, Hundreds of thousands of consumers collectively save... Read More

VoIP - A Laymans Look - Should You Or Shouldnt You?

"As business people we manufacture shin pads, or we distribute... Read More

How to Choose VoIP Service Without Losing Your Shirt

Voip.Just mentioning the word to yourself either brings up images... Read More

Voice Over IP ? Saving Money

I was on a tech support call with a client... Read More

What can a VoIP Phone System Do for a Small Business?

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a term used... Read More