How Can I Place a VoIP Call?
Depending on the service, one way to
place a VoIP call is to pick up your phone and dial the number, using an
adaptor that connects to your existing high-speed Internet connection. The
call goes through your 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 your computer. The number is placed using the keyboard
and is routed through your cable modem.
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?
A broadband (high speed Internet) connection is required. This can be
through a cable modem, or high speed services such as DSL or a local area
network. You can hook up an inexpensive microphone to your computer and send
your voice through a cable modem or connect a phone directly to a telephone
Is there a difference between making a
Local Call and a Long Distance Call?
Some VoIP providers offer their services for free, normally only for calls
to other subscribers to the service. Your VoIP provider may permit you to
select an area code different from the area in which you live. This means
you may not incur long distance charges if you call a number in your area
code regardless of geography. It also means that people who call you may
incur long distance charges depending on their area code and service.
Some VoIP providers charge for a
distance call to a number outside your calling area, similar to existing,
traditional wireline telephone service. Other VoIP providers permit you to
call anywhere at a flat rate for a fixed number of minutes.
If I have Internet Voice service, who can
Depending upon your service, you might be limited only to other subscribers
to the service, or you may be able to call any phone number, anywhere in the
world. The call can be made to a local number, a mobile phone, to a long
distance number, or an international number. You may even utilize the
service to speak with more than one person at a time. The person you are
calling does not need any special equipment, just a phone.
What Are Some Advantages of Internet Voice?
Because Internet Voice 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 Internet Voice 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.
What Are Some disadvantages of Internet
If you're considering replacing your traditional telephone service with
Internet Voice, there are some possible differences:
- Some Internet Voice services don't work during
power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power;
- It may be difficult for some Internet Voice
services to seamlessly connect with the 911 dispatch center or identify the
location of Internet Voice 911 callers; or
- They may or may not offer white page listings.