This section deals with some of the Basic Concepts of VoIP. A brief overview is provided as well as links to relevant pages if you want a more indepth description.
What is VoIP?
Simply put, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is an innovative way to make and receive telephone calls using your Broadband Internet connection. See What is Voip for a more detailed description along with other related information.
What is so GREAT about VoIP?
The answer to this question is simple:
It saves you Heaps of Money!
In fact, we are talking to family, friends and clients nationally and around the Globe more often, for longer and in many cases for FREE. You can too today! Be sure to check out our VoIP Benefits and Features topics.
It costs less to make a telephone call using VoIP than it does using conventional landline services. Particularly when making Local, National/STD and International calls. Calls from one VoIP phone to another on the same network are FREE of call charges. Remember, there is no need for your computer to be on when making a call.
Connecting a VoIP service effectively gives you an additional telephone line. Your existing landline service will still work, but now you can make calls on your VoIP service at the same time. Therefore, you can replace any additional telephone lines with a VoIP service.
VoIP can be integrated with many popular phone systems; Business users do not need to spend money on a new VoIP phone system and training staff on how to use it. Nominating the VoIP line as the primary outgoing line ensures maximum cost savings and helps make existing lines available for incoming calls.
Early on it was determined that it was possible to send a voice signal to a remote destination digitally, as well as via an analog signal (ie normal telephone call). To do that, we have to digitise it with an ADC (analog to digital converter), transmit it, and at the other end transform it again into analog format with DAC (digital to analog converter).
This is basically the way VoIP works, sending voice information in digital form in discrete packets rather than in the traditional circuit-committed protocols of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The following diagram illustrate how calls are routed in a typical VoIP Hardware (ATA) scenarios.
In this scenario the Phone Adapter converts the analog signals from the Telephone and transmits it, via the Broadband Modem, over the Internet to your VSP. The VSP then forward the digital data to a DAC device located at a Telephone Exchange in the same charging zone as the destination number you are calling. The data is then converted back to an analog signal and transmitted over the PSTN to the phone you are calling. By using this method the costs associated with National (STD) calls are avoided because it only passes through one telephone exchange and is therefore treated as a Local call.
There are a number of things you need to consider when looking to implement a VoIP solution. These include:
To connect to VoIP you will need the following. For a more comprehensive explaination, see the VoIP Requirements topic.
If you only wanted to talk to other people using the same VoIP technology, then it would not cost you anything. However, you won't save anything on your normal calls either.
If you already have a suitable connection and compatible modem or Router, you can simply order an ATA. The price range is between $100 and $175 depending on whether you want support for 1 or 2 phone lines. VoIP plans start from $0 a month for a pre-paid account or $9.95 which includes your additional phone number.