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With VOIP technology, you can now make a phone call to someone on the other side of the world using your broadband internet connection instead of a phone. VOIP technology, in essence, takes the analog signals from your voice and converts them into digital signals capable of traveling over the Internet. Then, at the other extreme, VOIP converts the digital signal back into the spoken word. The types of VOIP service vary.

Some VOIP providers only allow you to call other users of the same VOIP provider; other VOIP providers allow you to call anyone with a phone. To break it down, there are three basic types of VOIP service: With an ATA (an analog voice adapter), which is a box that connects your computer (or your Internet connection) to your phone for VOIP use. With an IP phone, a special VOIP phone which, by all appearances, is a normal phone but with special Ethernet connectors that allow you to connect it to your router. In no time, WIFI VOIP phones will be on the market, allowing you to make a VOIP call from any Internet access point. With just your computer, you can install VOIP software and sometimes make VOIP phone calls anywhere in the world for free. .

Get yourself a sound card, speakers, a microphone, and an internet connection, preferably broadband, and you’re good to go. Probably one of the most obvious benefits of VOIP is the way it relieves you of the need to pay the phone company for phone service. That is one more bill of your life! You only need to pay your broadband bill (plus VOIP charges) to meet your telephony needs as well, and a VOIP bill is usually much cheaper than a phone bill. If you take a laptop with internet access wherever you go, say, on vacation, then all you need to do is bring your VOIP adapter and / or IP phone and you will have as good service, if not sometimes better than, a cell phone. You should also consider the downsides before diving in and using VoIP. For one thing, your VOIP service may not respond well during power outages and server failures. If the Internet is ever disconnected, so is your VOIP and thus your ability to make phone calls.

Also, not all VOIP providers offer 9-1-1 or directory assistance calls. Before you buy VOIP hardware and service, make sure the VOIP company you choose provides the services you need. Interestingly, you may have been making VOIP calls for a long time without even knowing it. Phone companies have been using VOIP technology to make their services more efficient. You can also expect most of the same features from your VOIP service provider that you currently get from your phone company. VOIP service often includes Caller ID, Call Waiting, Call Transfer, Callback, and other convenient features that you are used to.

Additionally, some VOIP providers offer call screening services, allowing you to choose how calls from a designated number are handled. Perhaps you will forward the call to another number elsewhere, perhaps the caller receives a busy signal from you or a message that your number is “no longer in service.” Some even allow you to check your voicemail via VOIP and add voice messages as email attachments. VOIP is a burgeoning technology with extremely promising possibilities ahead. Before long, Ma Bell can become obsolete.

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