is VoIP/Internet Voice?
VoIP allows you to make telephone calls using
a computer network, over a data network like the Internet. VoIP
converts the voice signal from your telephone into a digital signal
that travels over the internet then converts it back at the other
end so you can speak to anyone with a regular phone number. When
placing a VoIP call using a phone with an adapter, you'll hear a
dial tone and dial just as you always have. VoIP may also allow
you to make a call directly from a computer using a conventional
telephone or a microphone.
How Can I Place a VoIP Call?
Depending on the service, one way to place
a VoIP call is to pick up your phone and dial the number, using
an adaptor that connects to your existing high-speed Internet connection.
The call goes through your local telephone company to a VoIP provider.
The phone call goes over the Internet to the called party's local
telephone company for the completion of the call. Another way is
to utilize a microphone headset plugged into your computer. The
number is placed using the keyboard and is routed through your cable
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?
A broadband (high speed Internet) connection
is required. This can be through a cable modem, or high speed
services such as DSL or a local area network. You can hook up an
inexpensive microphone to your computer and send your voice through
a cable modem or connect a phone directly to a telephone adaptor.
there a difference between making a Local Call and a Long Distance
VoIP providers offer their services for free, normally only for
calls to other subscribers to the service. Your VoIP provider may
permit you to select an area code different from the area in which
you live. This means you may not incur long distance charges if
you call a number in your area code regardless of geography. It
also means that people who call you may incur long distance charges
depending on their area code and service.
Some VoIP providers
charge for a long distance call to a number outside your calling
area, similar to existing, traditional wireline telephone service.
Other VoIP providers permit you to call anywhere at a flat rate
for a fixed number of minutes.
I have VoIP service, who can I call?
Depending upon your service, you might be limited only to other
subscribers to the service, or you may be
able to call any phone number, anywhere in the world. The call can
be made to a local number, a mobile phone, to a long distance number,
or an international number. You may even utilize the service to
speak with more than one person at a time. The person you are calling
does not need any special equipment, just a phone.
Are Some Advantages of Internet Voice?
Because VoIP is digital, it may offer
features and services that are not available with a traditional
phone. If you have a broadband internet connection, you need not
maintain and pay the additional cost for a line just to make telephone
With many VoIP
plans you can talk for as long as you want with any person
in the world (the requirement is that the other person has an Internet
connection). You can also talk with many people at the same time
without any additional cost.
Are Some disadvantages of Internet Voice?
If you're considering replacing your traditional
telephone service with VoIP, there are some possible differences:
I use my Computer While I talk on the Phone?
VoIP services don't work during power outages and the service
provider may not offer backup power.
all VoIP services connect directly to emergency services through
providers may or may not offer directory assistance/white page
Can I Take My Phone Adapter with me When I
You may be able to use your VoIP service wherever you travel as long
as you have a high speed Internet connection available. In that case
it would work the same as from your home or business.
Does my Computer Have to be Turned on?
Not if you are making calls with a phone and adaptor or special VoIP
phone, but your broadband Internet connection needs to be active.
You can also use your computer while talking on the phone.
How Do I Know If I have a VoIP phone Call?
It will ring like any other call.
Does the FCC Regulate VoIP?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has worked to create an
environment promoting competition and innovation to benefit consumers.
Historically, the FCC has not regulated the Internet or the services
provided over it. On February 12, 2004, the FCC found that an entirely
Internet-based VoIP service was an unregulated information service.
On the same day, the FCC began a broader proceeding to examine what
its' role should be in this new environment of increased consumer
choice and what it can best do to meet its role of safeguarding the
Aspects of these considerations may change
with new developments in internet technology. You should always
check with the VoIP service provider you choose to confirm any advantages
and limitations to their service.