What is VoIP?
With costs of telephone and Internet service on the rise, many are looking for ways to save money. One option is to forgo a traditional phone line in favor of VoIP service. While saving money on a phone bill is appealing, many don't know what VoIP service is or how it is used.
What is VoIP?
VoIP is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol. Instead of using a traditional analog phone line, VoIP technology lets people make voice telephone calls via an Internet connection and bypass the telephone company completely. VoIP technology turns a user's voice into a digital signal that is sent through the Internet to the person being called. When the digital signal reaches the person on the other end, it is converted back to a traditional telephone signal. While some VoIP providers may limit users to calling only those also using VoIP technology, others provide calls to anyone with a telephone number.
Internet users can make calls using VoIP technology in three different ways: directly from a computer, by using a special VoIP phone, or with a traditional phone connected to a specially designed adapter. When using a VoIP phone or a phone that's connected to a VoIP adapter, the phone will ring, just as a traditional phone, when a call is incoming. Those who make calls directly from the computer are alerted to incoming calls by special software that is given to users by the service provider.
The main advantage to using VoIP technology is that it saves the cost of paying for both a traditional phone line and an Internet connection. Disadvantages include not being able to access traditional 911 services in case of an emergency and the fact that, depending on the provider, it might not work during a power outage.
As VoIP services have become more popular, a number of providers have begun offering the service. Some of the top VoIP service providers for residential users include Phone Power, ITP, RingCentral, Lingo, Phone.com, Vonage, Net2Phone, 8x8, Skype and Comcast.
What is Mobile VoIP?
With consumers relying on their smartphones more than ever, many are using Mobile VoIP services to cut down on costs. Instead of using the traditional wireless network to make telephone calls, Mobile VoIP allows calls to be made over the Internet using a smartphone. In order to use Mobile VoIP technology, you must have a smartphone that is compatible with the VoIP service provider you choose. Some of the top Mobile VoIP service providers are Yeigo, Fring, TruPhone and Vopium.