What is VoIP?

A guide to internet based calls and how the system works

For many in a small business saving money is as critical to the bottom line as making money. If you use land line phones a lot then you may be interested in using a phone system that utilises the internet. This system is called VoIP. It essentially uses the internet to carry telephone calls the same way in which it uses the internet to carry emails. Many large international companies have moved to VoIP as they see it as a way to save money on phone calls. By using the internet you can bypass conventional phone companies and enjoy much cheaper phone calls. Unfortunately there are some downsides which we will explore a bit later.

Understanding the basics of how VOiP works

To get VoIP, you will need to sign up with a service provider who will route your calls both within and outside the internet. The most popular service providers will use their own software program to provide VoIP. These services are extremely popular, but they are reliant on your PC. If you run the service provider’s program on your existing PC; it will provide an electronic phone-book, and will enable you to see when other users you know are available. Calls to users of the same system are usually free, and subscription costs free or low. You typically pay most for calls to the ordinary telephone system. Because the program is free, it is quick and cheap to equip a whole business with the technology but you will need to have your computer on whenever you wish to make or receive a call – no problem if you normally have your computer on all day, an annoyance if you don’t.

Source: Using Internet Based Phones

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