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Is Voice Over IP Right For Me?
|Copyright 2005 Dave Markel
For those of you that don't already know, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows you to make telephone calls using your internet connection. VoIP converts your voice to a digital signal which is sent over the internet to where you made your call. The digital signal is converted back to an analog one when it reaches its destination. This allows you to make calls to anyone you want, regardless if they use VoIP.
Setting Up Your VoIP System
Setting up your VoIP system is simple. To start you need to have a broad band internet connection. If you choose a company like Vonage for your VoIP service you will need to buy their hardware. It is a rather inexpensive purchase that is installed like a router; between your computer and your internet connection. Plug in a standard phone and you are ready to go. The VoIP phone works the same as your traditional phone system.
What Are Some Advantages of VoIP?
The big advantage is cost savings. Since your calls are made over the net there really is no long distance. So right away you save on long distance charges. This is the primary reason why VoIP has become so popular.
Another advantage to VoIP is that it can allow you to disconnect your regular phone line. If you have broadband internet there is no need for you to maintain a telephone line as well. VoIP frees you from having to have this phone line. More money saved.
A secondary phone number from a different area code is also a big advantage. With some voice over IP services you can get a second phone number from an area code where you receive a lot of calls form. For example, if your parents live in Toronto and you live in New York you can get a second number with a Toronto area code. Now your parents can call a local number to reach you in New York. Now they save on long distance as well.
Disadvantages of VoIP.
With any new technology there are some down sides as well. Voice over IP is no exception. With some VoIP services 911 calls are not possible. In general this is a small issue, after all how often do you call 911. However, when you need 911 it is really important that the service works.
VoIP is power dependant. If there is a power outage your VoIP phone will likely not work. Although this problem also happens with most regular cordless phones.
If your internet connection has periods of slow service this will have a negative effect on your VoIP phone. The result will be calls where your voice will be broken up and garbled.
It is quite likely that you will not be able to access services you enjoy with your regular phone service. Although features like voice mail, call waiting, call forwarding, can be obtained with your VoIP service directory assistance will likely not work.
You also may not be able to use your current phone number. If you do not live in a major center it is unlikely that you will be able to simply roll your current number over to your VoIP service. This is the problem I currently have and is the last stumbling block before I can go with VoIP. The only number I can get would be for a city 4 hours away. The result would be that anyone calling from where I live would have to call long distance to phone me.
Anytime you have to make a decision to go with new technology you have to way the advantages with the disadvantages. If you can live with the few disadvantages that voice over IP currently has you can save a lot of money on your long distance calls.
About the author:
Max Power is the owner of Best Voip Technology . Visit the site at http://best-voip-technology.com
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