VoIP Phone Calls

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VoIP stands for Voice over the Internet Protocol. It has always been known that it was possible to digitize sound, transmit it and then turn it back into sound, but the Internet was not fast enough to make the theory a reality. These days, when most Net users have access to broadband speeds, VoIP can be used worldwide. However, it is still very much reliant on the speed of the Net connections for its quality.

VoIP goes under various names by various suppliers and so you may know it as IP, broadband or Net telephony. VoIP has a couple of benefits and a couple of disadvantages over normal telephony. On the plus side, it should be a great deal cheaper to phone anywhere in the world, because it is only like using the Internet.

Whilst you surf the Internet, you are charged either a local call rate or a fixed monthly rate for accessing the Internet no matter where the web sites are that you are accessing. They do not charge you more to look at an Australian site than an American one.

The same should be true of VoIP: all calls should be classed as local calls. This is not always true, but some VoIP service providers do allow free worldwide computer to computer calls.

Another plus point is that if you are talking about a subject, say business, which is computer-related, you can access your computer's data and share that when you are speaking. In other words, VoIP is much more flexible than regular telephony.

VoIP also offers video-conferencing. Free video conferencing between computers, if the broadband connection speed is adequate. This is fantastic if you are working away from home or from a loved one. Most laptops (and other small Net-enabled units) have a built-in camera and a built-in microphone to make video VoIP a doddle.

To connect a desktop computer in the same manner you only have to purchase a camera and a microphone and they are not costly. Anything that connects to the Internet can be converted or adapted to make use of free VoIP. Again, very importantly, this all depends on your local connection speed and the local connection speed of the person you are talking with.

This is the disadvantage. If the speeds are not both high enough, the video images will appear very jerky and if they are low then the voice transmission will also be interrupted and you will go through delays like you hear while mission control speaks to its spacemen.

We have already talked about VoIP and computers, but there are also special VoIP telephones, but they are merely computers built into housings that look like telephones so as not to scare those who believe that they cannot use a computer. They are more user friendly because they look traditional.

As more and more households have computers worldwide and as there are cyber cafes in even the most far-flung towns, so it is becoming easier and easier to use free (video) VoIP with friends and family all over the world which brings the price of long-distance communication down.

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