VOiP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VOiP allows the caller to place a telephone call over their Internet connection at usually less cost than a plain old telephone line (POTS line).

How does VOiP work?

VOIP works by connecting a special VOiP modem to your High Speed

Internet Connection. In order for VOiP to be working your Internet service must be operational and any equipment you have connected as part of your home computer network usually must also be working.

When you have VOiP you simply plug in your regular telephone into the back of the special VOiP modem and you’re ready to place or receive calls. Calls, usually, are as clear as or clearer than regular old telephone service. Switching to VOIP service can typically save a person a lot of money over standard telephone service. And, often times calls made overseas can be free or very low cost. Additionally, when traveling, people can still easily reach you through your VOIP service.

What are the downsides to VOiP?

1. Dropped Calls – Although somewhat rare calls can and do drop.

2. Ocasional poor call quality – If there’s any issue with your internet service being slow because of issues with your internet company then call quality can be poor. Cable Highspeed internet is shared bandwidth; in other words, the more people in your immediate neighborhood who are surfing the internet the slower the service and this could effect call quality. Your Voip Service Provider should be able to offset this with settings to your service

3. Occasional loss of phone service – One downside to VOiP is if your Internet Service goes down for any reason you cannot make or receive calls.

4. Not always a stable form of communication for a burglar or fire alarm system. Burglar and fire alarms monitor for voltage on the line and if dial tone voltage disappears the alarm could go into a trouble condition. This is not in all cases however and its recommended you talk over with your alarm provider to discuss this topic.

5. Sometimes there’s difficulty connecting to internal internet connected devices from outside. In some cases the VOIP devices goes in front of the router and this can causes issues routing traffic to a particular device inside a home/office. We’ve generally had good luck but in a few cases we’d have to move the voip device to behind the router and assign it a static ip address (this is advanced networking so we’d recommend you have a high level skill set or seek help before attempting this type of setup)

6. Use of Fax Machines can be spotty and/or slow –  Sometimes you are able to send or receive faxes VOiP might not be compatible with all phone networks throughout a large geographic area thus causing some faxes to fail without purchasing extra dedicated fax line services. We’ve sent and received faxes however in a few cases it was very difficult to get a fax to go out and in one case we we’re unable to receive a fax. We don’t know if a dedicated voip fax line in fact works perfectly.

7.  911 emergency service address does not automatically update. You must make sure you maintain the correct 911 service address when using VOiP otherwise 911 service likely might not be available over the VOiP telephone.  We’ve called 911 from VOIP and we were able to reach the correct 911 operator during the call.

What are the different types of VOiP?

There are three basic types of VOiP systems for a home. One of the more popular systems is VONAGE. Vonage uses the special VOiP modem mentioned above. There are other VOiP calling companies from which to choose but VONAGE is the biggest one.

Another popular form of VOiP is MAGIC JACK. MAGIC JACK works by plugging in a special telephone adapter into a working Internet connected USB port on your computer or laptop. The quality of this type of phone call will depend directly on the speed or lack of speed of your computer. The slower your computer performs the lower the quality of the phone call.

Lastly, Internet sites such as Google and Skype offer a VOiP type service whereby you can subscribe and use your computer and Internet connection to place low to no cost long distance phone calls. Usually this is perform directly on your PC or laptop and requires working speakers and a microphone connection on the computer.

Summary of VOIP

VOIP is Voice over Internet Protocol. Business VOIP and residential VOIP are available from different providers This technology lets callers use their Internet connection to make and receive phone calls, local and long distance, at a low cost. The quality of the calls can range from high to low. VOiP requires a working High-speed Internet Connection. 911 Emergency Service only works when appropriate information is input by the caller at the time phone service is setup.