Voip Hardware - Whats The Best Choice?

By: Michael Williams

When you use your computer, you are communicating on an IP network that is sending and receiving all Internet traffic. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses this same network to send its packets of voice data when you make a call from your computer to either another computer or a landline. The excitement over VoIP services is that you can use the Internet that you are already paying for to make free phone calls! Obviously, you need more than your computer to make these calls - VoIP hardware.

In order to use VoIP phone services you need to subscribe to a plan from a provider of VoIP hardware. What you pay depends on your choice of hardware:* Computer-to-computer* Computer-to-phone* SIP-to-SIP (Session Internet Protocol)This may sound confusing but once you understand the service you will find the choice relatively easy to make and your only decision will be the provider you offers you the best benefits for the least amount of money.

Computer-to-computer VoIP service is free. This is the most common form of VoIP and the one most of the public is most familiar. A provider of this service, Skype, both the caller and receiver need to be using their services. With a set of speakers, sound card, and a microphone (or USB phone) you can call anyone worldwide who is also using Skype; for free.

Computer-to-phone is the next step up and this is where the providers begin charging for services. This service is great for those of you who make several International calls. The primary difference with this service is that you can call the other party who has a regular landline and that party does not need to be using the same VoIP package as you.

SIP-to-SIP allows individuals to make phone calls to each other using a regular phone. The voice information changes from analog to digital and then sent in packets over the broadband network. If you use hardware phones for this service, the person you are calling needs to use the same hardware phones for the calls to be free. You can use your traditional phone if you purchase an adapter that connects your phone to the Internet.

There are different types of VoIP hardware to choose from and many of the phones look like traditional phones. They often come complete with everything they need to work the moment you connect them to the Internet. If you do not want to purchase a new phone, you can take advantage of the adapters that are available that transform your landline phone to a VoIP phone. Many providers of VoIP services offer the hardware free when you sign up for one their calling plans.

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