VoIP Free Buying Help

By Jerry Olsen
Updated: August 09, 2011

VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) has recently become very popular among individual consumers and businesses alike, simply because it offers huge savings over standard phone systems. VoIP if a fairly new technology that allows you to make phone calls via the Internet. With the right equipment (for example, hardware, software, and a broadband connection), VoIP enables you to make calls over the Internet.

Once you subscribe to an Internet Service Provider—if you haven’t already—all you need to do is install VoIP software, plug in your phone, and you’re ready to start making call anywhere around the world. With some VoIP models, you don’t even need the software, you simply connect the phone to your PC with a USB cable and start dialing. The VoIP, looks, acts, and even rings like a traditional phone, and in most cases, the call quality is the same or better than the phones you are used to.

There are three basic methods for connecting to a VoIP network:

Using a VoIP telephone
Using a standard telephone (with a VoIP adapter)
Using a computer with speakers and a microphone

Although it always pays to shop around for the best price, the VoIP components are easy to find on the Internet or local computer outlet. If you enter the word, “VoIP” into your favorite search engine, you should be able to pull up several different vendors to choose from.

How can VoIP work for you?

With VoIP, you can place calls using your existing Internet connection. For the most part, you pay a low monthly fee for both local and long-distance calls. Much like a regular phone, you can place calls to other VoIP devices, normal telephones (on a household landline), or business switchboards.

Phone users pay a flat monthly fee for local telephone calls and a per-minute charge for long-distance calls. Since you can use an Internet connection for both data and voice traffic, you can bundle them into one small payment.

What are the advantages of VoIP?

There is a charge for sending/receiving calls to and from other networks, but these are relatively small. VoIP solutions are also available both for individuals and business, and both solutions offer great savings over other well-known phone providers.

What are the disadvantages?

In most cases, you need to keep the PC on, so if there’s a problem with your computer or broadband connection, you may not be able to use your phone. Also, since Internet speed has an effect on call quality, you may experience muffled or dropped calls if you don’t use a high-speed Internet connection for your phone. People who use a dial-up connection often complain about poor call quality.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a VoIP phone service for your home or business, it’s definitely worth a try. Some companies even offer their service on a free trial basis, so you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

Featured Research
  • The New SMB Phone Systems Comparison Guide

    Does your small or medium-size business need a new phone system? Then you're in luck! Our new, updated comparison guide helps you cut through superfluous information and narrow down your list of solution providers. Get the latest data on phone system features, pricing, and performance metrics in an easy-to-use format. more

  • How UC Can Help Your Business Survive the Holidays

    The holiday season is filled with frenzy and excitement for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers prepare gift lists, compare brands and prices, and begin shopping with a vigor that is not present most other times of the year. For many businesses, the holiday season accounts for a large profit bump at the end of each year, and companies strive to exceed their goals and keep customers happy during this rush late in the year. more

  • [Infographic] Switching Phone Systems

    There are a lot of possible reasons you might want to switch to a new phone system. The old one might cost too much or be too troublesome to operate and maintain. It might not be flexible enough. It might not be reliable enough. Or it just might not have the kinds of features and capabilities that you need in today’s competitive business climate. more

  • Business VoIP on a Budget

    Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems represent the next innovation of telephone connection and communication by making it possible to conduct calls over a broadband internet connection, rather than an analog phone line. more

  • [Infographic] The Advantages of Unified Communications

    Did you know that according to 8x8, the tangible ROI of a unified communications solution for a 10,000-person enterprise is approximately $15.5 million? This isn't the only way unified communications can improve your business. more