VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a service that allows people to make telephone calls over the Internet. In order to use VoIP, a person will need a VoIP service along with some type of input device to record their voice. This can be a microphone or something more sophisticated such as a VoIP-designed telephone. Indeed, VoIP is quite an impressive technology, but how does it compare specifically against the traditional telephone? This article will examine that question by evaluating the three main differences between VoIP and traditional phones. These differences are: cost, voice quality and the ability to make emergency phone calls.
One of the biggest differences between VoIP and traditional telephone service is in the area of cost, as VoIP tends to be cheaper. However, this will largely depend on the type of VoIP service a person decides to use. For example, there are quite a few VoIP services that are free, but the quality is awful. Then there are those like Skype where users can have access to VoIP for a nominal yearly subscription fee. Alternatively, there are VoIP services like Yahoo Phone, which work on a prepaid basis. However, in all of these scenarios, the issue of long distance is the same... it is either free or significantly cheaper than what would get with a traditional telephone. This is the case whether the calls are done nationwide or internationally.
The next difference between VoIP and the traditional telephone line is in regards to voice quality. Most land line telephone services will always have excellent quality. This is not the case with VoIP, which has good quality sometimes. In fact even premium VoIP services tend to not do as well as a regular telephone. Of course, there are ways to try to improve VoIP quality. For instance, having a DSL connection significantly helps with VoIP reception. Also, it helps to try to not overload one's Internet connection with a lot of downloads, since this frees up more bandwidth for a VoIP service. Yet, doing these things will only make the voice quality so good with VoIP.
The last difference between VoIP and traditional telephones is when it comes to emergency phone calling. Most VoIP services whether free or paid do not have the capacity to allow for 911 calls. Conversely, the regular phone line does. It is for this reason that even if VoIP works perfectly most of the time, a person will still need a regular phone line.
In conclusion, the three main differences between VoIP and normal telephones are cost, voice quality and whether or not a person can make emergency calls. Both obviously have their advantages and disadvantages, though VoIP is not enough by itself to meet a person's complete telephone needs. Yet, if a person wants to make a lot of long distance calls, especially international ones, the regular telephone bill would just be too expensive. So, all in all, while VoIP cannot currently replace a traditional phone line, it does make for a nice complement to it.