If you’ve never heard of the term VoIP before, then everything you knew about internet phone calls is about to change. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it’s also known as Internet telephony. Simply put, this solution is an alternative way to make calls that could either be cheaper, or completely free depending on how you structure your services.
With a VoIP system, you don’t necessarily need a phone, and you can access a range of benefits that come with making calls online, instead of using a handset. The main reason that people turn to VoIP today is that it’s so cost effective. In the business world, this can be an incredible way to cut down the costs in making long-distance calls, and it can also help you to add additional features to your communication strategy too.
For people in customer service, this system is now a way to maintain conversations and relationships with people. It’s also a means you can have fun when you’re communicating through your mobile and computer devices for free.
So How Does VoIP Work?
It’s hard to fully understand how VoIP works if you don’t have a basic grasp of communication technology. However, what we can tell you here, is that there are various ways in which you can place a VoIP call using this technology. For instance, there are different types of VoIP in use today, and the one you choose will often depend on what you need for your service.
The first, and most common way to make a VoIP call, is using a device known as an analog telephone adapter, or an ATA system. This system works by allowing you to connect your traditional phone to your internet line or your computer, so you can use it with this technology. Basically, your ATA device transforms the analog signals in your old-fashioned phone so that they can become digital data which can then be transmitted over the internet.
Providers like AT&T generally bundle ATA solutions into some of their service offerings, which means that you have an easier way of moving to VoIP if you have a lot of legacy handsets in your building or business. All you need to do to get started is get the ATA system out of the box, and plug the cable from your phone that would typically go into the wall into the ATA device instead. From that point, you’ll have everything you need to make VoIP calls.
In some cases, ATA devices may ship with additional software that allows you to configure your computer in a way that makes your telephony system more effective. However, even if this is the case you should find that the set up is very simple.
Another way you can use this system is by investing in IP phones, which are pieces of hardware that look and act like normal phones, complete with a cradle, a handset, and a collection of buttons. The difference that instead of having the basic RJ-11 connectors on your phone, the IP phone has an ethernet connection that allows it to tap into the router and the internet you have for your home or business.
Finally, the easiest and perhaps least tech savvy way to use this system is by making a computer to computer connection. This way you don’t have to make any long-distance payments for calls. You can access this solution through various companies who can give you low-cost software to make using this system easy. In fact, all you need is a speaker set, a microphone, and a sound card along with a strong internet connection.
The Costs of VoIP Calling:
Perhaps the most compelling thing about VoIP is the fact that it can tap into the value of your existing technology infrastructure and allow you to access a cheaper way of making calls. With this system, you can transmit your voice over the standard infrastructure that’s already used by the internet, through something called the IP protocol. This means that you can communicate with friends, family, and business partners without having to pay for anything above your standard internet bill. Skype is one of the most popular services available today that allow you to make free VoIP calls on your PC. However, if you want an advanced version of this system then you may prefer to pay for Skype for Business allowances.
VoIP can be used in many cases without having to pay any money at all – particularly if you’re looking for a consumer package. In some instances, you’ll be able to use this system both with your computer, and with your landline or mobile phone. However, if you want to replace your standard PTSN service completely with this system, then you’ll need to pay the cost. The good news is that the expense is often a lot less than you would expect to pay to make a standard phone call. What’s more, you’ll have the opportunity to make international calls for the same price.
What determines whether your VoIP calls will be free or paid depends on many factors, including the services that you want to tap into. This is one of the reasons why this system is so popular, because even if you’re looking for a professional service, you can still keep prices relatively low.
According to CNET.com, VoIP can cost anywhere from free up to $200 per month but will generally cost anywhere from $10 to $50 per month depending on the type of service you order. VoIP can be free when you use a service where the call is routed from PC to PC. The price moves up from there based on the number of local and long distance calls you make and the features you want. Most residential services range from $5 to $26 per month. Today, most business VoIP services can provide you with lots of features (often more features than owning your own PBX) with prices ranging from $20 to $200. (1)
Making the Most of VoIP Calls:
Although some people still regard this technology to be a somewhat new and modern technology, it’s already gained acceptance around the world today. There are a few things that need to be improved to help people get the most out of the VoIP experience, but so far, there are plenty of ways that you can get the most out of the plain telephone system by switching to this new technology.
Although this system might not be the right solution for everyone, it has a lot to offer in the right circumstances. The public is quickly growing more conscious of the advantages that can be enjoyed from VoIP, both in business environments and residential settings. Not only does this system give you the opportunity to save money, but it could also improve your chances to make connections around the world too.