VoIP Providers - Options Galore

By: Kristen

Internet has become all prevalent in the modern day world and one cannot do without the same even for a day. The uses to which this innovative technology can be put are also getting increasingly diversified. Internet telephony is one such specialised use of a high-speed Internet connection - and an increasing number of people are realising the benefits of sending packets of voice over the Internet as compared to landlines. The importance of VoIP service providers can be understood in this context.

A high speed Internet connection, an Analog Telephone Converter (ATA) and a phone are the three pre-requisites for enjoying VoIP solutions. More often than not, the ATA hardware is provided by VoIP providers themselves. A user wanting to avail one such solution can subscribe to specialised plans offered by many of the reputed VoIP service providers.

There are different types of VoIP providers catering to the needs of both corporates as well as individual users. There are the "pure play" VoIP service providers, peer-to-peer VoIP providers and cable companies. Then there are some traditional telephony companies that have also joined in the bandwagon. All this means a smooth ride for the end customers - they are now able to enjoy facilitating technology at affordable costs. The tremendous competition in the market ensures that prices that they have to pay for the VoIP solutions and services are not exorbitant.

All the different service providers of VoIP use different broadband networks to deliver voice, data and multimedia services to the end customers. The peer-to-peer VoIP providers offer solutions that are the least expensive. A computer on a peer-to-peer network is used to leverage this specific type of VoIP solution. The need for an ATA is done away with; only a software is needed, which is free and easily downloadable. Users can enjoy the services of peer-to-peer VoIP providers to make free calls anywhere in the world. In some instances, such as calls to PSTN numbers, the calls are charged but very nominally. However, users have to compromise on call quality as compared to other VoIP solutions.

Large telephone companies and cellular phone companies are emerging as business VoIP providers. Cable companies have been the latest entrants - having an advantage of privately owned networks over which calls could be routed. The cable companies are in a position to bundle voice with high speed data and digital cable television - thereby enhancing their value considerably to the potential subscribers. However, the VoIP services and solutions from this category of VoIP service provider would generally cost more.

Quite a lot of options are therefore available. Potential users would have to assess their specific needs before deciding on a particular category of Internet telephony provider. In instances where calling is the priority - a peer-to-peer VoIP service provider would do, especially when one is calling on the same network. Corporate users could choose the pure play Voice over IP provider that offer the best call quality at the lowest rates. The ultimate decision about choosing a VoIP service provider would stay with the individual user - whether a person or a corporation.

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