How to Choose a VoIP Phone Service and Products
including Skype and Vonage
January 3rd 2006
Internet Protocol (VoIP) may be a great way to lower your phone
bills. It is definitely something you should consider if you make
long distance calls. This is what you need to know before you leave
your regular phone service behind and begin the process of
converting over to VOIP.
There are three
ways to place a call using VOIP services. ATA (analog telephone
adapter) is the simplest and most common way users make VOIP calls.
This method allows you to connect your standard phone to your
computer. Your ATA adapter converts your phone signal to a digital
signal that can be sent over the Internet.
Vonage and AT&T CallVantage are giving the adapters away free with
their service. This makes the service a turn-key operation. Just
pull the adapter out of the box, make the connections, load the
software and begin making your calls.
IP Phones have
RJ-45 adapter that connects directly to your computers Ethernet
connector on your router. All of the necessary software and
hardware are built right into the IP phones. It is expected that
Wi-Fi IP phones will be available to allow users to make VoIP calls
from any Wi-Fi hot spot.
The third way to
place VoIP calls is computer-to-computer. All you need is a
microphone, headphones or speakers, a sound card and software.
Unlike the other VoIP services, this service is absolutely free.
The drawback is that you can not call a personís phone.
You may want to
consider optional features before you decide on a service or
product. Some of these features include: Caller ID, call waiting,
call transfer, repeat dial, return call and three-way calling. Some
carriers may offer a call filtering service using caller ID to allow
you the route calls to certain departments. You can forward the
calls to a particular number based on the caller ID. You can give
the caller a busy signal, route them to voice-mail, play a
recording, or even send the caller to a funny rejection hotline.
The VoIP phone
has many advantages over the regular phone service. Greater
bandwidth and digital lines allow for more calls over the same
number. Prices of the services may vary so investigate all of your
options before you decide.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Keywords and misspellings: viop fones fone