Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a comprehensive identification for a family of communication technologies used for the conveyance of voice and or data communications when routed throughout IP networks such as the Internet or separate packet-switched data networks. Shared terms associated to VoIP may be recognized as: IP Telephony, voice over broadband, broadband phone, Internet telephony, or Broadband telephony.
When placing a phone call utilizing a VoIP Phone Service, the dialed number is conveyed to a voice gateway. The voice gateway then decodes the dialed digits and concludes the destination IP address of the gateway that will be capable to service the dialed phone number. The remote gateway now notifies the intended party of an incoming call via ringing the intended phone number.
When the phone is picked up on the other end, a communication is dispatched amongst the gateways and a virtual path is conveyed between the gateways. The virtual path now receives the audio communication, converts the signal to digital form, compresses and packages and rendered information, includes the destination gateway address for each packet dispatched, then routes the packets via the Internet to the destination gateway. In conclusion, the packets are converted from digital audio back to their original form of analog.
Getting Started With a VoIP Phone Service
You have three basic types of phone alternatives to select from when choosing a VoIP phone service.
– PC based Softphone
– Dedicated VoIP Phone
– Analog Telephone Adapter
PC based Softphones – The cheapest selection of the three is the application of a PC Based Softphone (also identified as digital phones or Internet Phones). The user must first install a software program onto their computer that enables VoIP calling without the need for dedicated hardware.
Typical fulfillment of a softphone is to execute calls between an Internet telephony service provider to existing softphones, or to conventional telephones. At present, some VoIP phone service providers may offer PC-to-PC calls at no extra charge; but take note that most PC-to-phone and phone-to-PC calls are typically charged a fee for usage, be sure to check with your Internet service provider as offers may vary.
The greater part of softphones that are being currently implemented today are designed to function similar to conventional telephones. The image of a phone appears on the users computer screen as a representation of a traditional phone, displaying a panel with buttons enabling the user to interact the same way they would when placing a call on a conventional phone.
Your computer must be connected to the Internet during the duration period for making and receiving phone calls.
A headset is then plugged into a USB port or PC sound card to place or receive phone calls. To heighten call voice quality, it is suggested that you invest into a good quality headset that is capable of delivering clear voice recognition. Cheaper headsets deliver unreliable voice clarity with back feeds and echo's.
Presently, there are three Internet telephony service providers for PC based softphones; Vonage, Skype, and Google Talk that supply proprietary software to their end users. The software used by these companies is locked and can not be shared with other providers disallowing phone calls between them.
Dedicated VoIP Phone – Dedicated VoIP phones support VoIP calls without the presents of a computer. In appearance, they parallel your traditional desktop phone set or mobile phone. No adapters or computers are needed for this type of VoIP phone service. The conveyance of phone calls is routed directly to an IP network via a connection of an Ethernet port and cable or WiFi service. Service is established by way of a VoIP provider that is accountable for routing your calls through the network making this type of VoIP phone system the most expensive to operate.
VoIP phones may also be known as SIP phones. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a common protocol that is widely used support the administration of multimedia communication sessions, voice data, and video calls over IP (Internet Protocol). Some of the applications that may use this technology are online gaming, video conferencing, streaming multimedia, and instant messaging.
Dedicated VoIP Phones main advantages are that most incorporate XML based applications; large LCD screens for user input that may display keypads and or touch pads, display messages and caller-ID information, Ethernet or wireless network hardware to send and receive messages on data network, voice mail functions, and finally, provide an excellent choice for voice quality for the end user.
Analog Telephone Adapter – Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA) incorporate an Ethernet port on one end and a RJ11 phone jack on the other which are used to link one or more standard analog phones to a digital or non-standard phone system such as a Voice over IP based network.
The Ethernet port connects to your router that is used in a broadband connection for an IP network, and the RJ11 phone jack plugs into your house phone. Your computer does not need to be turned on to place phone calls. Most ATA phone systems offer acceptable voice quality but, may require the end user to adjust their phone to minimize echo in the background and back feed issues which sometimes may be present.
This type of VoIP phone service is primarily offered by broadband Internet providers, cable companies, and traditional telephone companies at a considerably lower rate when in comparison to conventional phone services.
Finally, VoIP phone services provide a variety of plans, services, and features. Be sure to research a VoIP phone service that will benefit your needs and desires for your home or business.