Internet Phones: Will you Take This Call?

By: Samuel Herrick

So what is the buzz about Internet Phones? First it was Bell's harmonic telegraphy which eventually led to land line phones, then car phones, then the stormy advent of mobile phones, and now the world is moving towards calling facilities based on the internet. They are not all that complicated to understand and use. In fact, once you get the hang of what they're all about, they might just become your preferred means of communication.

An Internet Phone uses the technology of VOIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol for transmitting voice signals. VOIP can be used PC-to-Phone (or vice versa) or Phone- to- Phone. Internet Phones digitise your voice and send it over the internet to another phone or a computer through an adapter. Many companies have quickly realized the advantages of this system and have started offering various plans for residential usage as well as business communications.

One among its many advantages is that it offers highly advanced features compared to regular phones, proving useful for both home and corporate use. Caller ID and 3-way Conferencing facilities have become a thing of the past; now you can look forward to Call Recording (for saving sweet memories, reference or proof), Do Not Disturb facility (which forwards your calls directly to Voicemail if you so wish) and Voicemail access over the web- anywhere, anytime. For corporate plans, some services offer the IVR system- or Interactive Voice Response system- which puts large volume of calls in auto queue mode by giving pre-recorded options like "Press 1 for Features, Press 2 for Rates". In fact, such corporate plans can even replace that very expensive PBX system.

Along with these smart features, the internet-facilitated phones come with much cheaper plan options. VOIP technology has been primarily responsible for the drastic and recent drop in international calling rates. Residential local plans may come as cheap as 5 pounds a month and international calling plans as low as 10 pounds a month! Considering the amount of phone bills you can save, especially if you have family living in other countries or many of your clients are based overseas, the new rage of Internet Phones is a rather tempting.

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