How VoIP Works
VoIP Business-Class Telephone Service
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is simply the transmission of voice traffic over Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks. VoIP (sometimes called Internet Telephony) uses a broadband Internet connection for routing telephone calls rather than conventional switching and fiber optic alternatives. This process creates higher efficiency and lower cost for communication consumers. One reason for the cost reduction is that VoIP does not require a large scale infrastructure installation. VoIP works by combining the functionality of the Internet with a conventional phone into one single dservice that requires minimal software and hardware support.
The most common way VoIP works is that the end user establishes a hi-speed Internet connection, a router and a VoIP gateway. Instead of a standard telephone line, the router sends the telephone calls over an Internet connection. The VoIP gateway, placed somewhere in direct proximity of the connected Internet converts the analog signals into digital format, which are further broken down into smaller chunks called 'packets', before sending it over the Internet, much like the way data is transmitted to and from the computer. These packets are sent to their final destination where they are sent to the VoIP gateway where the packets are converted back into the original analog format utilizing a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The call is thereby routed to the number the caller has dialed blending old school technology and hi tech delivery in a seamless and instantaneous way.
The biggest advantage of VoIP is that customers can make calls from anywhere in the world where a broadband Internet connection is available. Most VoIP services come with the caller id, call waiting, call transfer, repeat dialing and three-way dialing features. For additional features such as call filtering, forwarding a call, or sending calls directly to the voice mail, the service provider may assess an additional fee. Most VoIP services also allow the user to check his/her voicemail over the web or attach messages to an e-mail that is sent to his/her PDA or PC.
VoIP has become popular largely because of the cost advantages to consumers over traditional telephone networks. Most Americans pay a flat monthly fee for local telephone calls and a per-minute charge for long-distance calls. VoIP calls can be placed across the Internet. Most Internet connections are charged using a flat monthly fee structure.
Using the Internet connection for both data traffic and voice calls can allow consumers to eliminate one monthly payment. In addition, VoIP plans do not charge a per-minute fee for long distance. For International calling, the monetary savings to the consumer from switching to VoIP technology can be enormous.
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