What is VoIP?VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP, sometimes referred to as broadband phone or digital phone, is a phone service which operates using your high-speed Internet connection. There are primarily two kinds of VoIP services: phone-based and computer-based. These services allow you to make phone calls using either your regular phone or a computer headset and microphone, respectively. As opposed to a traditional landline, when you use your phone or computer to call a number, the call is sent over the Internet instead of over a traditional phone line.
How does one place or receive a VoIP phone call? With a phone-based service you would use VoIP the same way you use a regular landline, by picking up the phone to answer it or dialing a number to place a call. With a computer-based service, you can call using a headset with a microphone plugged into your computer.
What benefits does VoIP offer?There are many benefits. Customers often see significant cost savings of 30%-90% using a VoIP service. Additional VoIP benefits include:
- Ability to be mobile (Take your phone anywhere in the world)
- Voice Mail, Caller ID, Call Conferencing, Call Forwarding, Fax
- Unlimited in-country long distance and often to other countries
- Check voicemail via email or online
- Add multiple inbound area codes to create a 'virtual presence' in other cities or provide a local number to friends and family
- Value added features like integration with other PC software
What are the disadvantages of VoIP phone service?Some VoIP services do not work during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power. Also, some providers do not have give the option list your number amongst the white pages of your phonebook.