If you haven’t been on a trip to the moon or have been lost in the deep dark depths of the amazon rain forest, then you MUST have come across the term VoIP? VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and it is the ability to transmit voice over the Internet to either a receiving computer or telephone.
VoIP uses what is referred to as the Packet Switching Network. Standard landline telephones use the Circuit Switching Network. The entire landline telephone system uses what is known as PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
Are you confused? Here is a simple explanation. The main difference between Packet Switching (the system used by VoIP) and Circuit Switching (the standard telephone system), is that Packet Switching makes use of sending (data) or Packets over the Internet while Circuit Switching uses electrical circuits to enable telephones to make a connection. If you can picture the old switchboard operators, wearing headsets frantically trying to connect the right caller with the correct receiver then this is what Circuit Switching is like. Packet Switching is used to transfer data at high speeds all around the Internet.
Packet Switching converts audio formats into small byte sized data packets and transmits them at high speed over the Internet. It then reassembles them on the other person’s phone or computer in real time.
A simple form of VoIP is used with many free Instant Messaging programs. Instant Messaging programs have been utilizing the science of VoIP technology for years. A computer user can download an Instant Messaging program, connect their computer speakers and a microphone, and make a free long distance (or international) call to another pc user. Many Instant Messaging programs are incorporating VoIP services. You can use Yahoo Messenger, AOL, Skype, ICQ, MSN, and Google to make pc-to-pc free phone calls.
Believe it or not, VoIP technology is NOT relatively new it has been around for a while now; it is just becoming more and more popular as day to day computer users are discovering how easy it is to use. In the late 1990′s, programs were springing up across the Internet offering some form of free VoIP technology. Most of those are either no longer existent or now charge a standard monthly service fee for the use of their product. But one thing remains certain, VoIP is producing higher standards of quality every day, and it has certainly proved that it is a viable force for telecommunication needs for the future.
Many telephone companies are expanding to allow for monthly VoIP services. Companies such as Sprint, Verizon, and AOL are all offering VoIP plans.
VoIP is also prized for its ability to integrate many forms of telecommunication applications into one package. VoIP can handle data, audio, video, E-Mail, and web based applications simultaneously. Just imagine – with your voice enabled Instant Messaging program, you can hook up a web cam and use video, while you are speaking with your buddy on your microphone and listening to them with your speakers, and you can type back and forth with your chat program. You could also write an email while you are doing all of these other tasks at the same time.
This makes VoIP extremely viable to businesses. It is also a cost effective choice of telephone service. The potential for VoIP’S use is nearly limitless.
VoIP telephone service providers are becoming more popular as well. Many people are now starting to realise the benefits available to them by switching to VoIP. First, VoIP costs significantly less than the standard telephone service, and this is a great attraction for bringing in new customers. Many VoIP service plans will let you make unlimited long distance calls or provide you with a plan for very inexpensive rates.
Many of the paid for features that are often included with traditional PSTN land line telephone services are often included free of charge with VoIP services. These include features such as Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Call Block, Three-Way- Calling, Voice Mail, and more.
Here is another great benefit to VoIP services which is proving very popular with customers. Many VoIP service providers will let you keep your existing phone number, or at the very least, will allow you to select a new area code. This option has great appeal to many people. Just think, now you can select an area code for the same town where most of your friends or family live. By choosing this area code, not only are you still getting a great deal with your VoIP services, but now your family and friends will save money whenever they call. For them, all calls to you will be billed as a local and not a long distance call.
VoIP has proved that it is a viable force in the field of telecommunications, we can be sure that VoIP is here to stay.
For more information, news and resources about VoIP, Skype and Internet telephones, please visit How VoIP Works.