Have you wondered about VoIP telephone technology or does it just sound like something out of this world to you? Weird even? Well, you’re not alone. This has been a learning experience for me. I’ve had to do research and more research to finally understand this enough to write this small article about it.
So here it goes: VoIP is just an acronym for voice over world wide web protocol. Or, in other words, it’s a method of sending spoken words using a computer and the internet instead of a regular land line or cell phone.
I think that pretty well explains it in layman’s terms. If you want more in depth information than that you’ll have to do your own research!
Now that we have our definition out of the way, the question is should you get in on it? Of course we all know the answer is based on personal preference, but here are a few facts to help you decide.
Most everything you read will tell you it’s cheaper than the regular land lines. The reason for this may be the way online access is billed compared to regular telephone calls. Regular telephone calls are billed by the minute or second, but VoIP calls are billed per the amount of information or data sent over the world wide web. You can basically call for really cheap or even free using your world wide web connection and have to call plans which are half the price of standard phone plans.Adapters are available so you can use your current touch tone phone with your high-speed web connection to make VoIP calls. If you do this you won’t have the out of pocket expense of a new VoIP gadget, well other than the adapter. For business purposes VoIP also offers the advantage of running both voice and data communications over a single network which can represent a significant saving in infrastructure fees. In most cases, VoIP technologies will have services not available on regular land line phones. These services might include the ability to check voice mail via the web, voice messages sent as an attachment in an e-mail.
Within the area of reliability, your VoIP service is only as reliable as your online connection. And in the case of a power outage you’re probably at an extremely real disadvantage. However if you currently have a portable or wireless phone then you’ve experienced the same problem in an outage, so this may not be a factor in your decision. Here’s an interesting “con”- VoIP calls do not keep the parties connected throughout the conversation. Because your conversation is transmitted in “data packets” the connection is only made when the data needs to be sent or transmitted and it may sound like you’re constantly being cut off. But the connection delay (caused by the distance the packets have to travel) and system congestion (caused because these voice and data packets travel over the same network with a fixed bandwidth) can be solved by teletraffic engineering. Don’t expect me to explain that ‘t happen!
Now let’s recap:
We can buy an adapter and use our existing land line phones to call over our net connection for cheap cheap cheap. If we find the right service provider for this service we can have some cool services not available with our regular phone service. If the power goes out I’m dead in the water unless I have battery backup. My conversations using VoIP phones may sound intermittent but that can be solved with the right teletraffic engineering. And if I own a business these VoIP technologies could save me some real bucks.
If you’re counting, it looks like the pros out weigh the cons but I’d say more research might be needed before a purchase is made.