VoIP, or “Voice over Internet Protocol”, could very well be the next revolutionary wave in the IT field. But how many of us lay consumers really know how to make efficient use of the VoIP technology, the latest in-thing in town?
- Figure out which of three categories of callers you fall into: ATA, IP Phones, and Computer-to-Computer.
- Adapt with an ATA or Analog Telephone Adaptor. This is the most common way of using VoIP. This adapter actually allows you to hook up the phone, which is already in your house, to your Internet connection. What the ATA does, is turn the normal analog signal that your average home phone sends into digital signals that can be sent over the Internet. Setting up an ATA is quite simple: Order an ATA, plug the cord from your phone (the one you normally plug into wall socket) into the ATA, and then an internet cord from the ATA into your router or internet connection. If you don’t have a router you there are even ATA’s that can do that for you as well. Some ATAs include software that has to be installed on your computer before it is ready to be used, but basically it is quite a simple process.
- Convert with IP Phones. The IP Phone looks just like a normal phone, with all the same buttons and cradle. The only difference is that instead of having a normal wall jack connector, it has an Ethernet connector. So, instead of plugging in your IP phone to the wall jack (like you would with a regular analog phone), it is plugged directly into your router. This option allows you more options like placing the call on hold and works just like any office phone you have probably ever used. The only difference is the calls are going over the internet rather than the normal phone line. It also means that you will not need an ATA because it is all built into the phone. In addition, with the availability of Wi-Fi IP phones, subscribing callers can make VoIP calls from any Wi-Fi hot spots. All these features make IP Phones an extremely exciting option. If you want intercom office extensions in your home, or other countries, this is the way to go.
- Try it now with Computer-to-computer calls. With some service these calls are entirely free, meaning that there is no need for any calling plans. The only things you need are the software, a good internet connection, a microphone, speakers and a sound card. Depending on which service you pick, except for your monthly internet service fee, there is literally no cost for making these calls, no matter how many you make. However, in most cases you will only be able to call people who have the same computer-to-computer calling service you have.
- Understand that with any of these VoIP “phones”, if your internet goes down, your phone goes down.
- There are also some nifty benefits to having your calls transmitted over the Internet. For example, some VoIP service providers allow you to check your voicemail via your e-mail, while others allow you to attach voice messages to your e-mails. As well as in most cases online account management and set-up anywhere anytime. Some services will even let you automatically forward your phone to another phone number or group of phone numbers on-the-fly.
- While your current long-distance plan covers you for only one location, with VoIP no matter what type of a device you use you can make a call from anywhere, where you can get a broadband connection. That is because all three methods mentioned above, unlike analog calls, send the call information via the Internet. Hence, you can make calls from home, on vacation, on business trips and almost anywhere else. With VoIP, you can bring your home phone along with you anywhere you go. In the same way, computer-to-computer connections imply that as long as you have your laptop and a broadband connection, you are ready to go.
- VoIP is quickly gaining popularity as companies and telephone providers make the full switch to VoIP, the potential for VoIP technology’s use today is already quite astounding. TMCnet reported that the rise of VoIP has forced telephone companies to either become VoIP enabled or go out of business. With the savings and flexibility that VoIP technology offers, and new advances coming all the time, we can expect that the number of voip users will increase further in the future.
- For large companies, VoIP also offers some very unique possibilities. Many larger companies have already switched to VoIP or have plans to do so. The cost of a VoIP system compared to a standard PBX system is a fraction of the cost. Whereas a standard PBX systems starts well above $5000, that same VoIP installation, with even more features, can be done in many cases for under $1000. Some companies utilizing the technology by conducting all intra-office calls through a VoIP network. Because if the network is wired properly (including possibly making use of fiber optic connectivity) the quality of sound far surpasses that of analog service. Some international companies are using VoIP to circumvent the high cost of international calling. Included in this is the ability for the company or it’s customers to call a local number and have it routed through VoIP to the country where they also have an office and then hoping the call off of the internet onto the public network in that local country. This allows the company and their customers to pay local rates internationally. It also allow companies with multiple office to utilize the VoIP network and have all inter-office calls, no matter what office each person is in to as if they are calling someone in the next cubicle.
Article courtesy: wikiHow
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