VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), also known as IP telephony, is an extremely robust system and industry of technology for the transmission of voice communications over broadband internet connections, including the Internet itself. This enables users to make voice calls over the internet from their personal computers. Such calls are routed over the same network as normal telephone calls but are handled much differently. The major advantage of VoIP is that it eliminates the need for long-distance calls and other such fees usually associated with normal phone calls.
A VoIP phone allows you to make calls from anywhere in the world for very low or even free rates.
It is free from all kinds of taxes and surcharges usually incurred on normal telephone lines. One of the biggest disadvantages of a VoIP phone is that its functionality is largely dependent on the quality of service provider (ISP) that one chooses. A poor VoIP provider may cut off your calls abruptly or perhaps not at all. Poor VoIP providers may also charge you extra fees, or even disconnect your service halfway through.
In order to make calls using a regular telephone, you would need to have either a wired or a mobile telephone (usually referred to as a “stereo” phone). These days, however, it is much easier to use the internet connection to make calls using a regular telephone. An added benefit is that you can use VoIP for international callings without any extra expense on your part. So, how does one go about getting a VoIP phone? Is there a special VoIP phone for my needs?
Actually, there are several different types of VoIP phones, which are differentiated by their operating system and the hardware that they run on. Some of them have built-in WAN adapter while others are compatible with USB adapters. It is possible to convert regular telephones to VoIP phones with the help of a special adapter, called “interfaces”. Although VoIP phones require an adapter, there are also VoIP phones that run on wireless cards and do not require an adapter.
If you are interested in VoIP phone systems,
the first thing you should look for is a service provider that offers a wide range of features. VoIP phones usually come with a set of standard features like call waiting, speakerphone, auto answer, call conferencing, call forwarding, call waiting, etc. Apart from these basic features, most VoIP phones also come bundled with other features that may be useful to you. For example, some VoIP phones may have additional features like international calling, call transferring, free VoIP minutes, conference calling, music on hold, call transfer, among others.
Now, if you already have an analog telephone, you should be aware of the fact that it will not work well with the VoIP technology. This is because analog phones do not support VoIP technology. As a matter of fact, some analog telephone providers even prohibit their customers from using VoIP services. They generally specify the technical specifications of their products so that users are aware of what they are getting into.
On the other hand, with a VoIP enabled phone, you can easily switch between analog and VoIP services. For this purpose, most VoIP providers provide a “switch to VoIP” feature. Most of them allow you to convert your existing landline phone number to an IP number. You just need to contact your VoIP provider and they will assist you in converting your landline calls to VoIP calls. They may even give you a demo or guide on how to go about converting your calls.
In order to take full advantage of VoIP technology, it is best to avail a VoIP phone service that uses the latest ATA or Analog Telephone Adapter. ATA is a digital format, which is similar to the traditional ATA which is used in computer networking.
- This enables you to have seamless communication with your VoIP service provider.
- It will also enable you to take advantage of any free ATA trials provided by various VoIP service providers.
- VoIP phones also generally have a feature wherein they allow you to add on an adapter as additional equipment once it is purchased.