Nobody likes paying a high price to talk to friends and family on the telephone. Although competition amongst companies using public service telephone networks (PSTN) is becoming fiercer, customers still want to save even more money on both long distance and local calling. A new technology is making it possible for these customers to do just that: Internet telephony VoIP sends telephone conversations over the Internet, bypassing regular public telephone networks. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, a newly emerging technology that is attracting new enterprise and residential customers every day.
Internet telephony VoIP works by compressing the words you say into an Internet connected phone into voice data packets. These packets are then sent over the web to the city, state, or country you are calling. If you are calling another Internet telephony VoIP user, your call can be connected via the web, meaning there are no long distance charges. However, if the party you are calling is on a PSTN, gateway switching hardware will decompress the voice data packets and transmit them over the PSTN to the person you are calling.
International VoIP carriers are constantly developing connections with countries, establishing gateway hardware in almost every country that has broadband Ethernet connectivity. Because these VoIP long distance carriers never uses standard long distance lines they are not forced to pay for time on these lines, and this savings is then passed onto the consumer in the form of vastly reduced long distance rates. Residential Internet telephony VoIP is now available in many area codes from a variety of different providers, such as Vonage, Packet8, and Net2Phone.
This service only requires an Ethernet connection, into which the user plugs either a VoIP phone or an Internet telephony VoIP telephone adapter. If the user has a computer or home network, they can choose to install a router or place their VoIP device "upstream" between their cable or DSL modem and their computer. Some VoIP phones even connect to your computer's USB port, although these phones are quickly being replaced by those that operate independently of your computer.
Once your Internet telephony VoIP phone is connected you will have access to a wide variety of your favorite standard telephone features, such as call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, and call return ("star"69). Internet telephony VoIP, thanks to its Web connections, also adds new features to your telephone experience. These include voicemail that is saved on the web in the audio file format of your choice, so that you can play your messages from any Internet connected computer. If you are looking for ways to save money on your telephone charges, and you have a broadband Internet connection, Internet telephony VoIP might just be right for you.