Understanding VoIP phone service
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a comprehensive identification for a family of communication technologies used for the transmission of voice or data communications when routed over IP networks such as the Internet or independent packet-switched data networks. The shared terms associated with VoIP can be recognized as: IP telephony, voice over broadband, broadband telephone, Internet telephony, or broadband telephony.
When you make a phone call using a VoIP phone service, the dialed number is transmitted to a voice gateway. The voice gateway then decodes the dialed digits and concludes the destination IP address of the gateway that will be able to serve the dialed phone number. The remote gateway now notifies the intended party of an incoming call by ringing the desired phone number.
When the phone is answered at the other end, a communication is sent between the gateways and a virtual path is transmitted between the gateways. The virtual path now receives the audio communication, converts the signal to digital format, compresses and packages and processes the information, includes the destination gateway address for each packet sent, and then routes the packets over the Internet to the destination gateway. In conclusion, packages are converted from digital audio to its original analog form.
Introduction to a VoIP phone service
You have three basic types of phone alternatives to choose from when choosing a VoIP phone service.
– PC based softphone
– Dedicated VoIP phone
– Analog phone adapter
PC-based softphones – The cheapest selection of the three is a PC-based Softphone application (also identified as digital phones or Internet phones). The user must first install a software program on their computer that enables VoIP calls without the need for dedicated hardware.
The typical fulfillment of a softphone is to execute calls between an Internet telephony service provider to existing softphones or conventional telephones. Currently, some VoIP phone service providers can offer PC-to-PC calls at no additional charge; But keep in mind that most PC-to-phone and phone-to-PC calls are generally charged a fee for use, be sure to check with your Internet service provider as offers may vary.
Most of the softphones that are currently being deployed today are designed to work in a similar way to conventional phones. The image of a telephone appears on the user’s computer screen as a representation of a traditional telephone, showing a panel with buttons that allow the user to interact in the same way that they would when making a call on a conventional telephone.
Your computer must be connected to the Internet for the duration to make and receive phone calls.
Then a headset is plugged into a USB port or PC sound card to make or receive phone calls. To improve the voice quality of the call, it is suggested that you invest in a good quality headset that is capable of providing clear voice recognition. Cheaper headphones offer unreliable voice clarity with feedback and echo.
Currently, there are three Internet telephony service providers for PC-based softphones; Vonage, Skype, and Google Talk providing proprietary software to their end users. The software used by these companies is blocked and cannot be shared with other providers that do not allow phone calls between them.
Dedicated VoIP phone – Dedicated VoIP phones support VoIP calls without the gifts of a computer. In appearance, they are parallel to your traditional desk phone or mobile phone. No adapters or computers are needed for this type of VoIP phone service. The transmission of phone calls is routed directly to an IP network through an Ethernet port connection and a cable or WiFi service. The service is established through a VoIP provider who is responsible for routing your calls through the network, making this type of VoIP phone system the most expensive to operate.
VoIP phones are also known as SIP phones. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a common protocol that is widely used to support the management of multimedia communication sessions, voice data, and video calls over IP (Internet Protocol). Some of the applications that can use this technology are online games, video conferencing, multimedia streaming, and instant messaging.
The main advantages of dedicated VoIP phones are that most incorporate XML-based applications; large LCD screens for user input that can display keypads and / or touchpads, display messages and caller identification information, wireless or Ethernet network hardware to send and receive messages on the data network, voicemail functions, and Finally, provide an excellent option for voice quality to the end user.
Analog phone adapter – Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA) incorporate an Ethernet port on one end and an RJ11 telephone jack on the other that are used to link one or more standard analog telephones to a non-standard or digital telephone system, such as a voice-based network over IP.
The Ethernet port connects to your router that is used in a broadband connection for an IP network, and the RJ11 phone jack connects to your home phone. Your computer does not need to be on to make phone calls. Most ATA phone systems offer acceptable voice quality, but may require the end user to adjust their phone to minimize background echo and feedback problems that can sometimes be present.
This type of VoIP phone service is offered primarily by broadband Internet providers, cable companies, and traditional phone companies at a considerably lower price compared to conventional phone services.
Lastly, VoIP phone services offer a variety of plans, services, and features. Be sure to look for a VoIP phone service that meets your needs and wants for your home or business.