Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Basic VoIP information

Let me blog about basic information about VoIP and call it VoIP 101.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is simply the transmission of voice traffic over IP-based networks.

The Internet Protocol (IP) was originally designed for data networking. The success of IP in becoming a world standard for data networking has led to its adaption to voice networking.

The Economics of VoIP
VoIP has become popular largely because of the cost advantages to consumers over traditional telepone networks. Most Americans pay a flat monthly fee for local telephone calls and a per-minute charge for long-distance calls.

VoIP calls can be placed across the Internet. Most Internet connections are charged using a flat monthly fee structure.

Using the Internet connection for both data traffic and voice calls can allow consumers to get rid of one monthly payment. In addition, most VoIP plans do not charge a per-minute fee for long distance.

For International calling, the monetary savings to the consumer from switching to VoIP technology can be enormous.

VoIP Telephones

There are three methods of connecting to a VoIP network:

  • Using a VoIP telephone
  • Using a “normal” telephone with a VoIP adapter
  • Using a softphone in a computer with speakers and a microphone

Types of VoIP calls
VoIP telephone calls can be placed either to other VoIP devices, or to normal telephones on the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) like landlines

Calls from a VoIP device to a PSTN device are commonly called “PC-to-Phone” calls, even though the VoIP device may not be a PC and can be a regular telephone attached to ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter). Most VoIP providers like Onesuite can be use with ATA device so the user doesn’t need a PC for making calls. There’s a few providers that can not be use with ATA like Skype which has it’s own “phone apparatus” that most people find it as a drawback. People who wants to switch to Skype needs to buy another set of phone device which means additional cost to them unlike when switching to other providers like Vonage, Viatalk or Onesuite.

Calls from a VoIP device to another VoIP device are commonly called “PC-to-PC” calls, even though neither device may be a PC. An example of this is Yahoo Messenger to Yahoo Messenger “call”. Pc to Pc calls is always free.

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