Friday, December 02, 2005

How Does VoIP Work?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. By using a VoIP phone and VoIP technology you can effectively use the internet to make phone calls. VoIP does this by placing the voice calls on network which encrypts the voice in data packets at one end and encrypts it in voice calls at the other end. In VoIP, encryption and decryption is from a analog signal (i.e. your voice call) into digital signal (data packets) and again into the analog signal.

You can make VOIP calls by a regular phone with VOIP adapter or even from your computer using a simple microphone. VoIP applications can generally be used with a simple microphone and computer speakers, but IP telephones or VoIP boxes can also be used, providing an experience identical to normal telephoning. Many VOIP manufacturers are designing phones which are specially meant to work with this technology, called SIP phone, and now extensively used by growing VoIP users.

In the past year, the quality and reliability of VoIP technology has improved to the point that vast numbers of users have abandoned their standard telephone contracts entirely, in favor of VoIP. Local as well as long distance calling is available for VoIP. Rates and plans can vary from one VoIP service provider to another VoIP service provider.

Advantages of using VOIP

Using VOIP you can effectively cut down your phone bills, since you just pay to your regular internet connection and small fees to your VOIP service provider. Setting up conference calls with VOIP is very easy.

You can even set up your own VoIP network and don't need any special equipment like PBX etc. You can call to any local telephone, mobile, long distance number or any international number through VoIP phones. More importantly, the person you are calling by using VoIP technology does not need any special equipment; just a regular telephone.

Many additional features like call forwarding, call tracing, reminders, caller ID are readily available in VoIP Phones. You can even assign a local telephone number to your VOIP phone set, and just need a fast internet connection to use your VOIP service anywhere in the world.

VoIP Dilemna

VoIP applications and services require data transfer in real time. During a call an interactive data voice exchange takes place. Unfortunately, TCP/IP is not best suited for this purpose. Sometimes you have to wait for few seconds, to hear other side answering. But with recent development we are streaming the flow of voice signals in a improved manner but still the quality is not that sharp with respect to PSTN lines.

SIP Phones

SIP Phones are the phones which are specifically designed to work as VOIP phones. SIP phone can be considered as a network endpoint routing voice via its IP address. This allows a DID (direct inward dialing) number to move with a user. With SIP phones you can use advanced features like voice mail to email etc.

FCC and VoIP

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates VOIP Services in the USA. They are in charge to create and promote regulations for VOIP services to benefit the consumers. In November, 2004 FCC ruled that individual States do not have the jurisdiction to impose taxes on VoIP services, which made VOIP services even more cheaper.

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