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VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, describes a number of different technologies and services. Collectively, these allow consumers to take advantage of a high speed web connection supplied by ADSL or cable internet providers in order to chat with others online or via traditional landline numbers. Because broadband is "always on" you can use VoIP to make free calls to any other user in the world, provided that they have an internet connection and the right hardware at their disposal. You can also use the wonders of VoIP technology in order to make cheap international calls to people who do not even have a PC. This can save you significant sums when staying in touch with remotely located relatives or friends.
There are a number of VoIP service providers, with some of the best known businesses in this sector including Skype and Vonage. In fact 'Skyping' someone has entered the lexicon of common speech because people have become so used to the idea of making free voice and video calls to each other using a PC and an internet connection. There is no charge for talking to other Skype users from across the world provided that you are both signed into the service. In this case, Skype utilises your data connection from your cable internet providers, with the only potential cost impact being that of your monthly usage allowance, if you have one.
Of course if the person you want to call has only a landline connection and does not live in the same part of the world as you, then you will need to pay a little to use your VoIP account to connect a call. However, there are still a number of money-saving benefits which make VoIP a better choice when calling international numbers. The first is that there are often no additional charges for usage during peak times, which means you will not have to juggle your schedule to put through an important call. You can also choose to pay for the international calls either by adding credit to your account ahead of time or by choosing a subscription based VoIP service.
The best VoIP services benefit from being tethered to multiple devices rather than being limited to your PC or laptop. You can invest in VoIP home phones which will allow you to make and receive calls as you would with a traditional landline handset, but with the cheaper costs associated with data-based communication. You can also use applications for smartphones to call any international number over Wi- Fi or 3G connections. Again, everything is channelled through your current VoIP provider so you are not running up the substantial bills that would normally result from making an international call from a mobile phone.
It is worth noting that VoIP is by no means perfect. Drop-outs and the associated call failures are not uncommon, particularly during heavy traffic periods. In addition, call quality can vary as the available bandwidth fluctuates. However, the fact that VoIP lets you make free international calls to other web users and cheap international calls to landline numbers make it easy to recommend to anyone who wants to reduce the costs associated with staying in touch. When you throw the potential for video chat into the mix, things look even more appealing.
Dean Johnson is an expert consultant and technician and has been associated with the
telecommunications industry and various cable internet providers through his career. He is an ardent
follower of technology blogs and is a writer himself.
Watch the below Video explaining VoIP.
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