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:

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VoIP Phone Update to Improve Call Quality  University of Arkansas NewswireA software update for all VoIP desk phones will take place this Friday, June 21, between midnight and 2 a.m..
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Business Choice Awards 2019: Voice Over IP (VoIP) Systems  PCMag.comThis year we had 12 VoIP systems/services make the cut to be rated in our Business Choice survey, but the top slot is a familiar one.
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bOnline VoIP review  TechRadarAn affordable and easy to configure VoIP solution that can convert any computer into a phone system with the minimum of hardware and expertise.
Why VoIP has become such a major player for businesses  ITProPortalVoIP does more than increase savings by lowering costs though. Here's why so many businesses are ditching their analogue lines in favour of VoIP.
XL | Utrecht | Global Systems admin/Director IT | Enterprise software  IamExpat in the NetherlandsOur client, an international software tech company based in Utrecht, is the fastest-growing provider of automation software for DevOps and Continuous Delivery.
False beliefs about the VOIP  Thrive GlobalThe VoIP (or Voice over IP) is a tool that has spread much in the business sector . However, not everyone knows it in depth. Or, in any case, he believes he has ...
IDC Ranks Top Unified Communications Vendors  TelecompetitorAvaya, Cisco, and Microsoft are ranked as the leading unified communications vendors, while Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Google, Huawei, NEC, and Unify and ...
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VoIP Brings New Features and Changes to Campus Calling  University of Arkansas NewswireThe Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) project reached a significant milestone last week when 827 campus phone numbers were transferred from AT&T to the ...
VIKING ELECTRONICS ANNOUNCES “VIN THE VIKING”  Telecom ResellerHUDSON, WI – July 16, 2019 – As part of its 50th anniversary celebration Viking Electronics is revealing a brand mascot named “Vin”. Vin is a tough but fun ...
How 5 leading on-premises and hybrid VoIP platforms compare  TechTargetLearn what leading VoIP vendors -- including Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Cisco, Mitel and NEC -- offer for organizations that are seeking an on-premises or hybrid ...
Complete Information Technology Infrastructure Outage: Sunday, July 21, 2019  Vancouver Island University NewsVancouver Island University's (VIU's) technology infrastructure is in need of significant remediation and renewal. VIU's Information Technology Services (ITS) ...
When to Use a VPN to Carry VoIP Traffic  PCMag.comIT professionals might decide to route their Voice-over-IP (VoIP) traffic across a virtual private network (VPN) for several reasons. And while it makes sense in ...
1 Year, 50 Sites: Lessons Learned in Cloud VoIP Project  No JitterSecond in a multipart series: The good, bad, and ugly… expect to see it all in a cloud migration.
How Much Does VoIP Cost? | Guide + VoIP Provider Quotes  TechCoVoIP Cost Guide: Here's every factor of a VoIP phone system cost so you can see how much your business might pay. Then compare quotes to find the best ...
Business Landline To VoIP, Why Change?  Irish Tech NewsLet's take a look at why business landlines are becoming obsolete against the largest rival VoIP and what is it that is making businesses decide to change.

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