What is Residential VoIP?

by Lisa Paterson - Date: 2007-03-28 - Word Count: 491 Share This!

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and this is geek talk for making phone calls using your internet broadband connections, as opposed to your existing telephone lines.

VoIP is a digital alternative to analog phone lines, but it is far more than that; it is a completely new way of making phone calls which will forever change the landscape of voice communication.

So how does it work?

It all sounds complicated and mystifying but it need not be. Essentially, VoIP converts your voice into a digital signal and then transmits it over the Internet. If you're using a VoIP phone to phone someone on a regular land line, your voice is converted back into a signal those phones can understand. If you're phoning another VoIP user, that's the end of it; your voice is transmitted digitally. It all happens instantly and the call on a VoIP phone system sounds exactly like the call on a conventional telephone system.

What do I need to use VoIP?

The first thing you'll require is a broadband Internet service, like cable or DSL.

Then you will need a way to connect with VoIP service - this is normally done through a special modem.

You may be able to continue to use your existing phone sets, however some providers, require specialized VoIP phones. Many of these providers offer a free phone with setup and/or lease equipment.

Why would I want to use Residential VoIP?

VoIP has principally been a business service and many home users have had doubts about whether it was right for them.

VoIP residential service is relatively new and many people ask "Why would I want VoIP in my home?".

There are 3 main reasons why you might consider a VoIP phone system.

The first, of course, is cost. Many VoIP providers offer free or low-cost long distance and overseas calls, which results in the overall phone bill being quite lower than the bill from your current telephone company.

VoIP offers many features which local providers may not, including, the ability to get email notifications of new voicemail and check voicemail online, which is useful for people running a home business.

Finally, some consumers switch to VoIP because of difficulties with their conventional phone company. The days of "We're the telephone company. We don't care. We don't have to" are definitely over, and VoIP is a big part of that.

While VoIP is relatively new in the residential arena, it is growing quickly, and the providers are becoming more established and more experienced in supporting their residential customers.

It will be interesting, from a technological point of view, to watch as VoIP matures over the next several years and to see how the local phone companies respond to that maturation.

But what will be really interesting is seeing how residential customers respond and how residential VoIP evolves as a result of their feedback.

With You in Technology

Adam White

Adam creates simple to read articles on VoIP Routers and Private Label Voice over IP at www.Discover-VoIP.info.

Related Tags: voip, voip provider, voip service, voip service provider, voip carrier

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