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Understanding the Basics of VoIP Connections

By Chris Hill

Summary: Basic description of VoIP and the advantages and downsides of this technology for end users.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 24, 2006

VoIP is short for “Voice over Internet Protocol”. It is a family of technologies that enable voice communications using IP networks like the internet. In addition to IP, VoIP uses the real-time protocol (RTP) to help ensure that packets get delivered in a timely way. 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. It involves sending voice information in digital form in discrete packets rather than by using the traditional circuit-committed protocols of the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

When placing a VoIP call using a phone with an adapter, a dial tone is present . Depending on the service, one way to place a VoIP call is to pick up the phone and dial the number, using an adaptor that connects to an existing high-speed Internet connection. The call goes through the 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 a computer. The number is placed using the keyboard and is routed through a cable modem.

Benefits of VoIP:

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 calls.
* 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.
* VoIP and Internet telephony is that it avoids the tolls charged by ordinary telephone service.

Drawbacks of VoIP:

In some cases there are differences between traditional phone service and VoIP phone service:

* Some VoIP services don’t work during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power.
* Not all VoIP services connect directly to emergency services through 9-1-1.
* VoIP providers may or may not offer directory assistance/white page listings.

As VoIP technology continues to develop it will become more and more appealing as the kinks are worked out. Out of 200 million, only 2 million landline users are currently subscribed to VoIP services. Cellular phone makers are currently designing and manufacturing phones which are both GSM and 802.11 capable. This will allow users to switch back and forth between a cellular and VoIP connection, depending on their location. This is a truly exciting phenomenon which will allow users ultimate flexibility when placing and receiving phone calls. I will expound on the subject of GSM/802.11 capable phones in my next article

About Author

Chris Hill has a collective 5 years experience in IT sales. He is currently Director of Carrier Sales for Townsend Assets Group (TAG), a leading reseller of pre-owned data networking equipment. With more than 2500 customers in 23 countries, TAG helps customers acquire, manage and remarket their technology. For more information go to http://www.townsendassets.com/

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