Voice Over Internet

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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The latest news in communications technology is the advent of voice over internet protocol and what it will do to long distance calling. This unique process is combining the best of the Internet and the best of telephony to make calling fast and inexpensive. Voice over internet technology improvements are in the works, but you can use this dynamic tool today.

How It Works

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) allows users to make phone calls using their internet broadband connections rather than the analog lines used by phone companies. Since millions of people already have broadband wires coming into their homes supporting their cable or digital cable television reception, the transition for many will be seamless. VoIP is not available everywhere yet, and the kind of calls you can make depend on the company offering the service.

For example, some companies will only allow you to use VoIP when calling other customers of the same company. Some will allow you to call any phone number. What is exciting about that option is that it includes local, long distance, calls to mobile phones, and even international calls. The cost of long distance calling could plummet.

In order to use VoIP today, you will need to have speakers and a dialer. Some services support using a regular telephone and an adaptor. Your computer must also meet minimum specifications in order for you to download the software that will power the service. Just a note of historical interest: during the recent presidential elections, many of the calls you received asking for your vote were made by volunteers using the VoIP process.


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