Internet Voice, also known as
Internet Protocol (VOIP), is a technology that allows you to make telephone
calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog)
phone line. Some services using
may only allow you to call other people
using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone who has a
telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international
numbers. Also, while some services only work over your computer or a special
VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone through an
How Can I
Place a VoIP Call?
Depending on the service, one way to place a VOIP
call is to pick up your phone and dial the number, using an adaptor that
connects to your existing high-speed Internet connection. The call goes
through your local telephone company to a
VOIP provider. The phone call goes
over the Internet to the called party's
local telephone company for the
completion of the call. Another way is to utilize a microphone headset
plugged into your computer. The number is placed using the keyboard and is
routed through your cable modem.
of Equipment Do I Need?
A broadband (high speed Internet) connection is
required. This can be through a cable modem, or high speed services such
as DSL or a local area network. You can hook up an inexpensive microphone to
your computer and send your voice through a cable modem or connect a phone
directly to a
Are Some Advantages of Internet Voice?
Because VoIP is digital, it may offer features
and services that are not available with a traditional phone. If you have a
broadband internet connection, you need not maintain and pay the additional
cost for a line just to make telephone calls. With many
VoIP plans you can talk for as
long as you want with any person in the world (the requirement is that the
other person has an Internet connection. You can also talk with many people
at the same time without any additional cost.
Some disadvantages of Internet Voice?
If you're considering replacing your
local phone provider with VOIP, there are some possible differences:
VOIP services don't work
during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power.
Not all VOIP services connect
directly to emergency services through 9-1-1.
VoIP providers may or may not
offer directory assistance/white page listings or
phone cards on your prepaid account.