You are formally invited to the marriage between the Internet and Telephones. The telephone revolution is here. If you haven't heard about it ... maybe you've been off the grid? (But I'm sure you've heard of it by now!)
The most common reason people are turning to VOIP in masses, is the cost. VOIP is definetly a cheap way to connect to others, but many people use it for free. Yes, that's right, "free". Depending upon what type of calling you want available to you via VOIP, there are nominal charges, or no charge for the basic use.
The way you make your calls varies with the VOIP service you use. Computer phone calling means determining what it is you personally need. Most people use this service on their mobile phones now.
Two words circling the online world are Voip, which stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and the other is actually the name of a popular company offering this service, ... Skype . (Think of the term "Skype" in relationship to the word "Voip", as "Kleenex" is to the word "tissue")
With Skype you can make free calls over the Internet. Skype – the whole world can talk for free
What is Skype? Skype is a little piece of software that you can use to make free calls to other people on Skype worldwide and cheap calls to phones and mobiles.
SkypeIn is your personal online number. Anyone can call you wherever you are in the world, and they only pay the standard local rate for the call.
SkypeOut lets you make cheap international calls to phones and mobiles at local rates using Skype Credit.
Skype Voicemail is the solution to never missing an important call.
Skype Pro is a subscription package of best products available.
Skype Small Business Pack can slash companies' communication costs and transform the way business is done.
3 Skypephone is a stylish mobile phone that you can use to make free Skype-to-Skype calls. No computer needed.
Skype bundles are package deals comprising SkypeOut credit together with hardware accessories.
Skype hardware accessories enhance the Skype user experience. A variety of webcams, headsets and phones are available.
Make calls from your computer – free to other Skype users, cheap to phones and mobiles across the world. The sound quality is great, too. You can keep it running all day, and it’s like you’re in the same room as the person on the other end. Make and receive calls to ordinary phones with your computer: Call ordinary phones anywhere in the world from your computer for the price of a local call with SkypeOut.
You will also find the term 'Voip' used in company names offering computer phone calling. The term Voip is "standard talk" for making computer phone calls. For example, when you say you're making an internet phone call, you're actually making a Voip call.
It is believed that this technology will completely change the telephone industry and could very well replace the traditional phone system. As an example of their potential, according to Skype they have already had over 100 million downloads of their free service with 150,000 new sign-ups everyday. According to the Forrester Research Group, approximately 5 million U.S. homes will be using a Voip service by the end of 2006. The Mobile Voip market, according to On World, is predicted to reach about 100 million users by 2011. They also indicate Skype may hold 25% of the global market.
In the beginning of this technology, Voice Over IP had three basic ways for people to utilize computer phone calling; ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter), IP Phones, and Computer to Computer - Since then, Mobile phone to Mobile phone is fast becoming the way to utilize Computer Phone Calling.
Computer to Computer would be the easiest and cheapest way to use Voip at the moment. You can use this service free in some cases. Acquiring the service is a simple download. If your computer has speakers, sound cards and a microphone, you're set to go. There's usually no charge with computer to computer and long distance is also normally free.
IP (Internet Protocol) Phones are Internet phones that look just like a normal phone. The difference is that instead of working on the normal telephone network, it is connected to a gateway or router. The IP phone doesn't connect to the RJ-11 socket but rather uses the RJ-45 plug, which is what's use for wired LANs. Not sure what an RJ-11 plug looks like? It's the plug that connects the wire to your normal phone or modem. The RJ-45 plug is a little bigger than this plug.
ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) is the simplest and most common way to use Voip. The analog telephone adapter lets you hook-up a standard phone to your computer or internet connection. Some phone companies are including ATA's with their normal service packages offered to the public. With some ATA's you may have to download software to your computer in order for it to work. (Note: This will most likely phase out as technology advances)
Along with the price, flexibility and savings on long distance, another great attraction to Voip is the ability to take your internet phone when you travel and always have access to your home phone. Essentially you're able to make computer phone calls from anywhere.
Most Voip companies offer many of the same features as a standard telephone such as caller ID, call waiting, three way calling and more, and they're typically free for Voip users. Voip billing is quite similar to the billing used for cell phones, such as package deals on a monthly basis. However Skype is currently offering some aspects of its service free for a designated time period, as indicated on their site.