VoIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol

Voice over internet protocol or VoIP is beginning to come into it’s own. The promise of cost savings over traditional phone lines is driving this technology into the mainstream. Leveraging your existing broadband connection to save on your monthly phone expense at first glance makes sense. Let’s take a closer look.
First off, can your existing broadband throughput handle the additional strain of digital voice transfer? You can use your favorite search engine (google, msn, yahoo, etc.) and search for ‘VoIP broadband test’ to get a general idea of the speed of your connection. This is only the first consideration.
How is your existing broadband access coming into your home? If you’re using DSL then using VoIP for your ‘primary’ phone line may not be an option. DSL availability without existing phone service is not generally available. You should check with your local phone company before canceling service. You just might end up with no phone service, VoIP or traditional. Check first.
If you’re using cable internet access and your connection speed test looks good, find a VoIP provider that allows for a trial period. You may find a good provider that offers up to 30 days for you to cancel if you are not satisfied with voice quality or service.
A VoIP converter and a router will be required to setup your VoIP service. Your modem would plug into your router. Next your converter plugs into your router and your phone base plugs into your converter. Most normal phones should work fine. There isn’t any ‘special’ phone required to use this type of service. The entire process is pretty painless, but if you should run into any issue, your provider should be ready to help.
If you’re looking to leverage your existing broadband internet access to save money on your monthly phone expense, VoIP can be a great option. Just remember to check your connection, check with your local phone provider (for DSL users) and find a provider that offers a money back trial period. This can be a great way to save money, but don’t be pressured before you know the facts. Even if it doesn’t work out for you now, keep your eye on this technology.
The FCC is already involved in the apparent conflict between VoIP service providers and DSL access. E911 service (Enhanced 911 service) is already being mandated and additional steps will be made to bring this technology further into the mainstream. Make no mistake about this technology. It has arrived and is here to stay.