VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a phone service that utilizes the internet instead of traditional phone lines to send and receive signals. Conventional telephones translate your voice into an electrical signal that is transmitted as a radio wave through fiber-optic cables. VoIP phone service, on the other hand, converts your conversation into a digital signal that is transmitted using an internet connection. Internet phones can be either soft phones that use software on a computer or smart device and a headset, or hard phones that use an IP phone, or an analog phone with an analog phone adapter (ATA), connected with Ethernet cables directly to a network. You can also set up a VoIP phone system with a complementary combination of both soft and hard phones. This setup is especially useful in larger, multi-phone enterprises.
How will VoIP phone service benefit me?
Voice over IP services are generally cheaper than conventional phone services for several reasons, such as reduced call charges, no monthly contracts, fewer or no taxes and service fees/monthly charges, no need to buy expensive hardware, and no jack installation costs. A VoIP phone system can offer a wider range of features than landline technology. For instance, you can enjoy a virtual receptionist and auto call-forwarding, call waiting, conference calling, caller ID, voicemail and more. Additionally, once you have your VoIP system in place, you can use your VoIP phone when you travel, often for the same rates.
VoIP home phone setup: What you need.
Setting up your VoIP home phone can be relatively simple. When you're connecting through a router and modem or a modem router combo, it can take just a few minutes. Simply connect your VoIP adapter to your IP phone or headset, or your analog phone with ATA, and you're ready to listen for a dial tone and start calling. That's it, except for administrative tasks like registering and setting up monthly auto-billing. You can also build your system using a network switch that has multiple ports in configurations that provide customized telephony solutions for everything from complex home situations, to small businesses or large enterprises.
VoIP phone system considerations.
VoIP performance and sound quality are equal to, or better than, your current home phone when used with a fast, stable internet connection that's not overloaded with other bandwidth-consuming activities, like streaming movies or games. Many VoIP systems will let you keep your current phone number, or you may be able to choose a new telephone number using any area code you wish.