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Totek - Asterisk VoIP (SIP) News & Technology Source

VOIP Service Providers - The Future Of Telephones PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jon Arnold   
Saturday, 22 September 2007

 If you haven't lived under a rock for the last several years, you've seen the ads for the VOIP Service Provider called Vonage, offering a box that, in addition to an Internet connection, lets you make unlimited long distance calls to the US and Canada for a low, flat fee. There are competing VOIP providers, like Skype (owned by eBay) with different pricing models.

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and digitally translates your voice into packets that get routed over the Internet, much the same way an email is broken down into packets and sent over the Internet. The benefit of VOIP comes in comparison to traditional switched telephone networks, where calls were routed through individual switches, requiring extensive infrastructure on the part of the telephone companies, and thus, required charging per minute billing.

However, during the telecom boom of the late 1990s, every major telephone company laid new fiber optics lines and switched to a packet driven methodology, greatly reducing their operating expenses – albeit at the cost of a very large investment up front in the new technology.

The result of this is that, eventually, everything is going to go to VOIP, but certain VOIP service providers are jumping the gun, and you can benefit from it. There are VOIP providers that require a fixed monthly service fee or give you free calls to other numbers (or addresses) within their network, but charge you to call a regular land line, and there's even a VOIP provider that's looking to have you buy a $300 piece of hardware and get free phone calls for life.

In the past, VOIP software had latency issues – you'd speak, and there'd be a small (but noticeable) bit of lag between when you spoke and when the other party would hear you. As the networks have matured and grown more robust, and the digitization software has improved, this has ceased to be an issue. VOIP is a great technology for home use. With its virtual voice mail system and multi-line options, it's also a great solution for a home based business, or home office for an entrepreneur; most VOIP service providers charge far less than what a typical telephone company does for the same level of services.

No discussion about VOIP would be complete without talking about one of the major gating factors of VOIP technology. That gating factor is that a good VOIP connection and conversation depend heavily on the reliability of your highspeed Internet connection. If your connection is not fast or reliable, chances are very high that your experience with VOIP technology is not going to be good. Unfortunately, the VOIP carrier you choose has no control over the speed or reliability of your Internet connection.

Still confused about VOIP and how to choose the right VOIP carrier? Our web site provides a great deal of detail about what to look for in VOIP service, where NOT to get VOIP service, and even our Expert Pick for the best VOIP service. VOIP is an extremely cost effective solution that if it's right for you and your location, you should consider.

For more insights and additional information about VOIP Service Providers as well as reading about our Expert Pick for VOIP service, please visit our web site at



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