Selection of Frequently Asked Questions for VoIP

By: Milad Mir

What is VoIP?

VoIP is the transmission of voice communication through IP packets and, therefore, through the Internet. VoIP also called Voice over Internet Protocol, IP Telephony, Internet telephony, Broadband telephony, Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet or through any other IP-based network.

How PC to PC call works?

When you make a PC-to-PC VoIP call to your friend, your analogue voice signals are first converted into many bits of digital packets on your computer. These packets are sent through the Internet to your friend's computer IP address. Upon arrival, these bits are reassembled together again at your friend's computer and your friend hear your voice.

What do I need to start using VoIP?
Computer with sound card
Internet connection
VoIP communications application such as Viatalk
Headset or USB phone

What are the benefits of VoIP?

There are many benefits to having a VoIP solution, for example:
One low monthly fee covers all of your phone calls. This is where we can help you.

There are no unexplained taxes or regulatory fees. You know the ones on your current bill that nobody understands and your local phone provider can't explain. No taxes are charged for Internet based phone calls which is one reason why the service is so cheap.

Long distance and international calling are much cheaper. The Internet does not care whether you're calling someone who lives a block away or your cousin in Australia. This is why the VoIP service providers can give you such great rates for long distance and international calls.

What's Free And What's Not Free?

Generally speaking, calls between VoIP users are free. For example, two Yahoo or Skype users can call one another directly online for nothing. Calls to traditional land lines are what you pay for.

What are VoIP Service Providers (VSPs)?

VoIP Service Providers are the next generation telcos that provide interconnection between VoIP and PSTN networks. They allow call origination and termination between these two networks. You can compare and reviews at AZ - VoIP Providers.

Why do some VoIP services cost money, and why are some free?

A VoIP service can connect users not only with other VoIP customers but also with phone services that are offline, such as those that use traditional landline networks and wireless cell phone networks. For those calls, VoIP service providers must pay access fees to the landline and wireless operators. Those charges are passed along to VoIP customers. Calls that are between personal computers with VoIP service (Some VoIP providers offer free calls to some destinations).

What are VoIP Gateways?

VoIP gateways are devices that take analog voice signals and convert them to IP for transport over the LAN or WAN.

Which VoIP codec should I use?

VoIP codecs currently available are: G.711, G.723, G.726, G.729, GSM, and iLBC.

What is SIP ?

VoIP comes with an additional set of acronyms: SIP, H.323, and IAX. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP is a relatively simple protocol that has characteristics similar HTTP and SMTP.

Which protocol should be used?

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is an emerging protocol that is more simple than H.323 and optimized for better voice performance. SIP has a lesser overhead than H.323 and a more simple architecture.

What's The Difference Between Phone-based VoIP And Computer-based VoIP?

Phone based VoIP converts your home phone into a VoIP service using a special adaptor. Computer-based VoIP runs on your desktop or laptop computer; this makes it more flexible, because it moves around with the computer - this means you can take it anywhere in the world.

Can I Use The Hardware From One VoIP Service With A Different Provider?

In general, no. Most of the major VoIP providers, such as Vonage, AT&T CallVantage and Verizon Voicewing, "lock" their hardware so that it can only be used with their service. Some providers effectively lease the equipment to you and will refund part or all of a "setup fee" when you terminate service. If you buy the hardware outright via a retail package, however, you'll have a nice doorstop if you decide to terminate or change VoIP service.

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