What is VoIPNot so long ago, landline phones ruled the world of communications but recently, it’s becoming outdated. This is hardly surprising because many people are opting for cell phones Voice over IP. Also known as VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol, the technology uses Internet connection to transmit sounds, making it possible for users to make calls. With VoIP, computer-to-computer calling is possible, which is usually free of charge. Furthermore, VoIP users can also make calls to landlines, mobile phones, and other VoIP devices. Providing high quality calls at low prices, VoIP has created a lot of positive effects, especially for businesses. VoIp is also useful for people who have a lot of friends and family members who are residing in other countries.

According to statistics, 40% of Internet users are utilizing VoIP. This is extremely impressive because it started only about 15 years ago. It began in 1995 when a company called Vocaltec first put VoIP in the market. In the early days, the product was known as Internet Phone software and it had to be installed in a normal computer. With this, it’s possible to make phone calls through the Internet. The drawback was that it could only work when both parties have the product. The year 1998 was considered to be a great milestone for VoIP service. The technology made it possible to make phone-to-phone voice calls via the Internet.

Photo Credit| Laura Billings ;Flickr 2010

Today, it’s very easy to purchase the necessary equipment to start using VoIP. There are many VoIP-ready phones so you will just need an Internet connection and the phone can be plugged into a computer or laptop for immediate use. The process of VoIP works by converting data before sending it to the other end. There are VoIP calling plans available from broadband phone companies. For the best quality VoIP calls, it’s recommended to have a minimum Internet speed of 1.5mbps. If the Internet speed is slower, there would be some problems with sound quality and sudden disconnections. According to VoIP users, there’s really not much difference in the quality of calls in comparison to mobile phones and landlines.

VoIP offers a number of advantages but the most obvious is probably its portability. VoIP can be used in any place in the world where good Internet connection is available. In this sense, there’s no need to change numbers. Another major advantage of VoIP is the fact that users can place calls at almost zero cost. For just a minimal amount, you can place unlimited domestic and international calls. For people who have to make a lot of calls, the cost of a single call is definitely very low. Since it’s portable and cost effective, VoIP is very popular with travelers, expats, and other people who are far from their family members or friends. It’s the cheapest way to stay connected with loved ones who are abroad. Businesses with international connections can also take advantage of such a service to control costs. There’s also the conference call feature which allows for a number of people to speak in a group setting.

Today, there are quite a number of companies that offer VoIP. There are packages for personal or business use. Most of the packages offer unlimited domestic and international calls, caller ID, call forwarding, voice mail, and other features. There are other add-ons like having additional lines and virtual numbers. To select the perfect VoIP service, it’s wise to compare the features and the costs. Know each company’s promotions and calling plans. Try to read reviews and feedback before deciding which VoIP phone service is the best for your purpose.

Check out these links to learn more about VoIP.

  • History: Here’s an account of the history of VoIP.
  • Benefits: An outline of the various benefits of VoIP. 
  • VoIP: Covers VoIP technology, services, caveat, and limits of service.
  • FAQs: The FCC provides answers to questions on VoIP.
  • Understanding VoIP: The article outlines the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP.