Author: Costas Kariolis
VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) is a relatively new technology, however this hasn’t stopped it from establishing itself as an alternative to the wide spread landline services.
The “over internet protocol” part of the VoIP acronym may strike fear into some users, imagining it to be part of a technological minefield of jargon. The technology itself is something that shouldn’t be feared and actually operates in quite a simplistic manner.
Instead of using a telephone line connection, VoIP utilizes a broadband connection. This connection enables the user to make a simple phone call without having to use a landline.
There are three methods that can be used to make calls.
The first uses a special VoIP phone that is specially designed to make calls in this way. Many VoIP phones don’t look that dissimilar to traditional landline operated sets, the majority come with a cradle for the phone to charge in. It is with this that VoIP is able to use the broadband connection. Instead of being connected into a standard phone line, the VoIP cradle is connected to a broadband router.
A second method in a way mimics that set-up of a tradition phone set. A computer acts as the phone while a connected headset operates as the receiver, while the broadband connection allows for calls to be made.
Finally, many VoIP service providers offer a cable that will convert your standard phone set into one compatible with VoIP. This is perfect for those people that are wary of the unfamiliar equipment that comes with this young technology.
The way in which calls are made has been covered, but how does VoIP itself work?
Well VoIP operates using a system known as Least Cost Routing. Least Cost Routing takes a call made on a VoIP phone and converts it into a data format. Locations to where the call can be directed to for the cheapest price are scouted before the call is finally converted back into an audio format for the receiver on the other end.
As VoIP uses the internet to make calls, it can be utilised to make long distance calls but without the high costs associated when doing so using a normal landline. It is a custom that many VoIP service providers will allow for a customer to have a VoIP phone for themselves and then one shipped to another location. This would be perfect for someone looking to regularly contact a family based abroad.
While VoIP does indeed offer something very different, it doesn’t alienate the extra services that many landline users may have come to expect. Most service providers offer these extra services including, anonymous call block, an international call block function and a withheld number display amongst many others.
The technology, while being more than accommodating in its set-up, also provides a versatile, cost effective way of communicating with the rest of the world. VoIP is ultimately a technology that shouldn’t be feared and should instead be embraced as it offers so much.
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