Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) simply means running a telephone service over a broadband connection. For most people, a broadband connection is only used for services like email and web browsing. VoIP just means a new service – telephoning – is available over the same service.
As most homes already have landline phones, you may be wondering why to bother changing how you make calls. Here are a number of reasons to consider switching from your copper-based landline to a VoIP service.
A major advantage to switching to a VoIP phone is cost. The cost of calling from one VoIP phone to another is free. Because VoIPservice providers use the shared infrastructure of the web, the cost of connecting networks together is much less. That’s why customers are able to receive free VoIP-to-VoIP calls, and much lower cost calls to traditional landline phones.
On a traditional landline telephone, the phone is hard-wired to the copper in the ground. So if you want to move your telephone from one place to another place –for example if you’re moving home or changing country – it either won’t be possibleor it will cost too much. With VoIP, it’s very simple. You can just take your broadband phone with you and plug it into your new location. You can even have the same phone number.
VoIP services allow you to use many different types of application for connecting. You can use a traditional landline phone by using a VoIP adapter. You can use VoIP phones (phones that are specifically designed to use the VoIP protocols). You can also use PC software on laptops or desktop computers. You can even connect with mobiles and PDAs over Wi-Fi connections.
Another great advantage of VoIP is that the channels are virtual. That means that you don’t need to use a copper phone line at all and you’re only limited by your broadband’s bandwidth. This is perfect for homes with several phones where you would typically have to lay new copper wires every time you want to add an extra line.
VoIP services work together with other IP protocols. This means that VoIP works with numerous other applications on the internet. You can integrate your phone service very easily with things like email, web browsing, directory services, databases or any other custom application you might have.
If you’re thinking of switching to a VoIP service, the predominant type you can use is called SIP. SIP is an Open Standard – a common language for VoIP that many different manufacturers use. Manufacturers produce lots of different handsets and services, and SIP means that many operators can work together. This means a lot of choice and low costs for VoIP customers.