VoIP phones, sometimes called IP phones, are communications devices that use voice over internet protocol (IP) technology for placing and receiving telephone calls on an IP network, including the Internet. These communications devices work by passing voice signals through a converter, which is in turn converted back to an analog signal that the microphone or speaker can handle. This conversion process reduces the need for expensive long-distance calls, since calls made using VoIP can be placed directly where the user is and then transferred to the destination when there is an available telephone connection.
What makes VoIP phones so desirable and useful is their inexpensive cost and lack of complexity compared to analog telephony systems. Traditional telephone service involves large investments by companies, and the equipment costs can be substantial. Additionally, long-distance fees are generally much higher for long distance than for a local number. Additionally, existing landline telephones are more susceptible to malicious interference from other electronic devices, and there are still certain circumstances where a traditional phone will be less reliable than a VoIP phone. Finally, with a traditional phone, a person is at the mercy of the telephone company if the call goes through or not.
Because VoIP phones are based on digital protocols, it is possible for them to be set up for a variety of different uses, including connecting a computer to a broadband high speed modem or wireless router. Some VoIP services even include a plug-in adapter, or USB, for easy installation and use. The plug-in adapter is a standardized piece of hardware that typically comes with many VoIP providers. One advantage of this hardware is that it allows the user to connect their VoIP phone to multiple devices, including computers, smartphones, mobile devices, Wi-Fi enabled laptops and tablets, and even certain types of tablet computers. Even a regular desktop computer can become an excellent VoIP phone.
A typical VoIP phone system also allows users to connect their devices to the web to make voice calls over the internet. One popular option is a digital phone system that integrates a PC, laptop, smart phone, and even a web browser. The most popular software packages include Skype, Google Talk (Google Hangouts), and Vonage. Users may decide to use one or all of these services to create a “virtual” office.
With a conventional phone system, someone must go to any number, whether it’s a business or a residential, in order to make a call. This means that each person needs to have a separate telephone number for business and personal use. In addition, users need to remember who they are calling and whether or not they want to take their call through to the regular telephone network or through the internet.
A major benefit of VoIP phones is the caller id feature. This feature lets users select which person they want to receive the call by showing them their caller id. For example, if someone calls your office, your phone will ring with your name or your contacts’ information. This feature is similar to what traditional analog phones provide, but it goes one step further because it allows you to interact with the caller.
Many businesses and homes are switching to VoIP because of its lower costs.
Instead of paying monthly long-distance charges, as well as service fees, users can use their broadband Internet connection to make long distance and international calls for free. This is a particularly attractive idea for people who work overseas or who have international customers. Businesses and homes alike can also save money by eliminating long-distance charges from their telephone companies. In some cases, users can even get unlimited long-distance and international calls for free.
VoIP phones require a broadband Internet connection.
- This is because during a phone call, the voice data travels over the Internet. VoIP providers usually provide their subscribers with free long-distance and international calling.
- The VoIP service does not use a phone line. Instead, the data is sent over the Internet and encoded so that it can be converted into an appropriate voice signal that can be heard on the other end.
- Because the voice data is encrypted, it cannot be listened to by anyone not authorized to hear it.