The field of telecommunications is almost constantly in a state of rapid change and that is certainly true today as VoIP technology continues to grow in both quality and popularity. VoIP actually stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it is a way of transferring telephone calls across the internet to a distant computer or telephone without the use of your local telephone company.
A very good way to sample VoIP technology is through using instant messaging programs such as Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and AOL Messenger. All of these programs allow you to use a microphone and a set of speakers connected to your computer to make free PC to PC audio calls. For those instant messaging programs that also include video and allow for more than two people to be connected at any one time, you can even hold your own internet video conference easily and inexpensively thanks to VoIP technology.
All you have to do is download one of these above mentioned programs free of charge, install it on your computer, and connect up your microphone and speakers, to be able to sample this technology and see if you like it or not. If you do, and chances are that you will, you can then sign up for a VoIP subscription plan with one of the major VoIP providers to let you take full advantage of all of the features that VoIP has to offer.
One of the big advantages of VoIP subscription plans is their minimal cost when compared to local telephone companies. When you start shopping these plans you’ll see a large difference in cost between them and what you pay for your telephone service now, and that is no doubt the most attractive feature of VoIP technology to most consumers.
However, there are a few drawbacks to using VoIP for telephone communications that you should also be aware of. First of all, you will most likely need a high speed internet connection in order to get the best results when using a VoIP application or program. It can be done on a dial-up connection, but your results can be very spotty and inconsistent, sometimes even downright frustrating. On a high speed connection though, you should experience voice quality that very closely rivals that of land line telephones.
One other consideration is that it can be difficult to call 911 using a VoIP program if you don’t know where you are. 911 operators are unable to perform a trace on calls that originate from an IP telephone or computer, so there would be no way to locate the caller if they cannot identify exactly where they are. However, VoIP providers are currently working on this problem and hope to have a solution soon.
As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using VoIP technology for your telephone communications. By being aware of both the pros and cons, you should be able to make an informed decision about whether or not VoIP will work for you.
Steadman Issenburg writes on many consumer related topics including communication. You can find a voip broadband phone provider and voip broadband phone service and more by visiting our communication website.