Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Internet Telephony or VoIP

Do you make umpteen long distance and international calls? Hate typing? Burdened with high telephone bills? Do not worry! You can solve this problem! You can come out of the mess!
Internet telephony is your answer! Internet telephony or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) practically eliminates long distances charges. It allows you to make local, long-distance and international telephone calls via the Internet for the cost of a local call. Moreover it allows you to commune verbally, rather than type messages. But then, the audio quality may not be as clear as the regular phone line, but then, you do save pots of money on phone bills.
What exactly is VoIP?
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol, is basically telephony services over the Internet using IP (Internet Protocol) network. Instead of using traditional phone land lines to make voice calls , you use broadband Internet connection .Thus you by-pass the telephone company services and charges.
All that you need for VoIP are :
· Broad band internet connection.
· Equip your computer with a sound card and microphone.
· Equip your normal phone with a VoIP adapter called ATA(Analog Terminal Adaptor).
· Use a stand-alone VoIP phone (IP phones has built-in ATA function and connect directly to the broadband modem).
VOIP phone calls can be made three ways:-
1. Computer to computer.
For a computer-to-computer voice connection you need a computer with sound card, a headset consisting of earphones and microphone, and some VoIP software. There are many free software packages available which allow you to connect to any computer running the same software. These types of calls can be made to anywhere in the world free of charge!

2. Computer to Phone.
For a computer to phone connection, you also need a VOIP software, headset,earphones and microphone,whereas the recipient on the other end can use any regular traditional land-line phone or cell phone. These phones are not connected to the Internet.

3. Phone to Phone.
For a phone to phone connection there are two options:-
· Use a regular phone plugged into an ATA adaptor, which in turn is plugged into your broadband modem.
· Use an IP phone or V0IP phone that is plugged directly into your broadband connection. IP phones have built-in ATA function.
Wireless "hot spots" in locations such as airports, parks, and cafes allow you to connect to the Internet and may enable you to use VoIP service wirelessly.
The following are some of the popular free softphones(software telephones)

Skype – This is owned by the Internet auction giant eBay. Computer-to-computer calls are free, but it will cost you to use SkypeOut, a service that let's you call telephones
Gizmo Project- Lets you make free calls to other Gizmo users.
Google Talk - Free internet calls.

Yahoo with Voice Make free PC-to-PC calls when you use Yahoo! Messenger, and worldwide calls for only a few cents per minute.
Vonage - Has taken Internet phone calling mainstream and offers a variety of flat-rate service plans for unlimited calling.
Well, there you are! Yes! You may now chatter away happily with whomever you want and wherever they are!

Copyright © 2008 Laila Rajaratnam. All Rights Reserved

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