Internet Call Waiting 101

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So, what exactly is Internet call waiting? It is pretty much what it sounds like. When you order your phone service, you have the option of getting call waiting so that if someone calls when you're on the other line, you can switch over to see who it is and talk to them if you so desire, all the while keeping your first call on hold.

Internet call waiting uses this exact idea except that instead of your first call being to or from a person, it's to an Internet service provider. With the Internet call waiting software installed on your computer and with a set of speakers, your computer becomes a sort of Internet answering machine where callers hear a recorded message from you and leave a message. With a small upgrade, you can even have a phone conversation through your computer with the person calling!

How Internet Call Waiting Works--The Non-boring Version

Internet call waiting uses a feature offered by phone companies called forward on busy. When you have this feature, you can have the phone company forward your calls to, for example, your cell phone if your line is busy. Instead of forwarding to your cell phone, the phone company will forward your calls to your computer when you're online and unable to use the hard line of your telephone.

I know, Internet call waiting already sounds like a gift from the gods. It actually gets better, especially if you're wondering how this product can help you if you don't use a dial up connection when you get online. Internet call waiting software is actually cheaper than the voice mail option offered by your phone company and is certainly cheaper than even the most flimsy of answering machines you can buy.

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