Definition of VoIP
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a technology that allows you to make and receive voice calls using a broadband internet connection instead of the analog phone line.
How Does VoIP Work?
VoIP service converts your voice into a digital signal that travels over the internet. The signal is converted back to regular voice signal before it reaches the destination.
What Equipments Do You Need for VoIP Service?
An active broadband internet connection (cable or DSL or wireless) is required for VoIP service. A regular phone connected to VoIP adaptor or a VoIP phone is also required.
Some VoIP services allow you to make and receive phone calls to other subscribers in the same network using the computer by installing special software and microphone.
Characteristics of VoIP Broadband Phone Service
If you subscribe to VoIP broadband phone service, you can make and receive any phone calls (including local calls and international calls) just like traditional phone service. The people you talk to on the phone only need a regular analog phone and no specific equipment.
Most VoIP broadband phone services allow you to make unlimited calls locally and to specific countries. The charge for long distance calls is also substantially lower than traditional phone line as well.
VoIP broadband phone service also provides many additional features, such as caller ID, call waiting, conference call, call forwarding etc but unlike traditional phone service, these additional features are provided free of charge.
Some VoIP service providers allow you to select virtual phone number (i.e. country code or area code different from where you live) which is very useful for people calling you from long distance. For example, if you live in the U.S. and most of your friends and relatives are in UK, you can get a virtual number with an area code in UK. When your friends and relatives call you using their traditional phones, they are only charged for local calls.