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Title: VOIP QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Author: Raymond Klesc Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2004 Raymond Klesc Preformatted for 60-characters
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, has grown in popularity recently and with that rise in popularity has come a number of common misconceptions and confusion. Global Value Connect (http://www.globalvalueconnect.com) has complied this simple guide to address some of these most common questions and concerns.
1. What is VoIP and what does it stand for? 2. How do I make a VoIP phone call? 3. What equipment do I need for VoIP phone calls? 4. Are there any differences between making a local call or a long distance call? 5. Who can I call if I am using a VoIP service? 6. Are there any advantages in using VoIP phone service? 7. Will I be able to dial 911 emergency services? 8. Will I be able to use my computer while making a VoIP phone call? 9. Will I be able to take my phone adapter with me while traveling? 10. Does my computer need to be running in order to use VoIP service? 11. How will I know when I receive a phone call over my VoIP service? 12. Who regulates VoIP services? 13. What are computer system requirements for VoIP? 14. Are free trials normally available? 15. How can I improve sound quality?
1. What is VoIP and what does it stand for?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and it allows you to place telephone calls over a data network like Internet. It operates by converting your voice signal from your telephone into a digital signal that can then be transmitted over Internet. The digital signal is then converted at other end back to a voice signal that other party can hear. When you use a phone with an adapter calls are placed just like a regular telephone. You first hear a dial tone then call is made. You are also able to place a call directly from your computer using a conventional telephone or microphone.
2. How do I make a VoIP phone call?
Making a VoIP phone call is no different from using a regular land line telephone. You pickup receiver and listen for dial tone. You can then dial your number as you always have in past. The call connects to your high-speed Internet connection and travels to your local telephone company's equipment to a VoIP provider which transport signal through Internet to local provider of party you are calling. They relay signal to your parties telephone. As an alternative, you may also place call using your computer's hardware and software, entering number through your keyboard. The signal is then sent through your cable modem to your local telephone carrier.
3. What equipment do I need for VoIP phone calls?
Your existing incoming high-speed Internet connection should be sufficient but higher connectivity better signal. In terms of hardware, you can hook up an inexpensive microphone to your computer or connect a phone directly to a VoIP telephone adaptor (ATA). Or you can use a phone specially made to work with Internet Voice. This is called an SIP phone. Each SIP phone is a network endpoint, and voice is routed via its IP address. It allows a DID (direct inward dialing) number to move with a user. You can move, add or remove stations and never have to call your interconnect/PBX service company. SIP phones also allow full use of advanced features like voice mail to e-mail and auto attendant.
4. Are there any differences between making a local call or a long distance call?
There are many different calling available for VoIP. The calling rates and fixed plans will vary from one vendor to another depending on service you select. Please make sure to read all of fine print associated with any plan that you choose. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that VoIP can blur difference between local and long distance by issuing a local number for your Internet phone. This allows you to make LOCAL calls to your home area code from that phone, regardless of where you are geographically. All you need is an Internet connection to plug in your phone, it doesn't matter what Internet provider you use, and you can call your local area code from anywhere in world without paying long distance rates.
5. Who can I call if I am using a VoIP service?
Your calls can be made to any local telephone number, mobile phone, long distance number, or any international number. You may even use service to speak with more than one person at a time. More importantly, person you are calling does not need any special equipment; just a regular telephone.
6. Are there any advantages in using VoIP phone service?
If you are using a broadband internet connection, you don't need to maintain and pay additional cost for a regular land line just to make telephone calls. With VoIP you're able to talk to many people at same time. You can set up conference calls with your colleagues, staff, family and friends. VoIP allows you to reduce interconnect/PBX fees by enabling you to add, move and remove stations from your network without calling your service provider. In addition, you don't have to buy an expensive phone switch to set up your network. VoIP also offers many advanced calling features from caller ID and call forward to voicemail and distinctive ringing to call tracing and reminder calls, among many others. You can also manage your features through Internet; log-in and customize services that normally you would have to rely on your provider to change - for a fee of course. Voice over Internet can lower long-distance fees by assigning a local telephone number to your VoIP phone. You will then be able to take your phone anywhere in world, plug it into any broadband connection regardless of specific provider, and you can make LOCAL calls to your home area code. Parents can keep in touch with children at college; churches can contact missionaries all over world; and businesses can connect branch offices in different cities.