Solutions VoIP PitfallsAs with all evolving software and telecommunications technologies, VoIP systems have their pitfalls. This article identifies the most commonly cited drawbacks of VoIP information systems. More ...VoIP HistoryContrary to popular opinion and some vendor claims, Voice over Internet Protocol transmission started in 1973 as a result of the experimental Network Voice Protocol invented for the ARPANET. However, not until 1995 did the first Internet Phone Software – Vocaltec – appear. More ...
 Market Leaders Skype and Vonage have emerged and introduced disruptive technologies. Cisco, Avaya and Nortel have introduced major market strategies to leverage their IP telephony into VoIP services. Other peer to peer groups beyond Skype, such as FlyFone, also challenge the normal and the traditional telephone companies with impressive new technology solutions.

What is voip (give me the short version please)?
VoIP is the acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP phone service, sometimes called broadband phone service, is a phone call method which uses your broadband web connection as the communication backbone. There are two primary types of VoIP phone services - phone-based and computer-based. These phone types allow you to make phone calls with either a regular telephone or a computer with an attached headset and microphone. When you use VoIP to call a number the call is sent over the Web instead of over the copper wires running out of your home.

How do I place a voip call?
VoIP phone services operate just like a regular landline - pick up the phone to answer it or dial a telephone number to place a new call. With a computer-based service, you can call using a headset and microphone plugged into your computer.

How good is voip call quality?
VoIP call service quality has consistently and dramatically improved over the last several years. Current VoIP quality has clearly reached the level of most landline phone services and often exceeds traditional phone services. However, do recognize that voice clarity and quality very significantly from one service provider to another and will also be heavily influenced based upon the speed and quality of your broadband Internet connection. Before signing up with any particular voip service, you should consult with other VoIP users or check our forums or user reviews for each specific provider.

Are there differences between making local and long distance voip calls?
The technology and operation is identical for both local and long distance service calls. However, long distance call charges will vary among service providers and from plan to plan. Long-distance rates are normally very low, especially when compared to the legacy telephone plans. Several VoIP service providers offer unlimited long-distance in which case the calls are free.

Does voip work with 9-1-1?
Most VoIP service providers offer what is called "Enhanced 911" (E911), however, it is possible that it may be hard for some VoIP services to seamlessly connect you with the closest 911 dispatch center or identify your location when making a 911 call on a VoIP phone. If this is an issue you regard as important, you may consider using your VoIP phone as an additional phone to your traditional phone service.

With voip, can I keep my telephone number?
Most service providers permit phone number portability so you can use and carry the same phone number which is given by your legacy phone company.

With voip, can I get a new or another telephone number with a different area code?
Yes. Most VoIP service providers permit you to select any area code you like. This helps reduce long-distance charges. Also, most VoIP providers offer virtual numbers (sometimes known as “extra numbers”). This can allow you to obtain a number from a different area code in addition to your actual area code. This would enable you to have callers living in another area code dial a local number to reach you, and thereby save them long-distance charges.

Does voip offer try before you buy options?
Yes, several service providers offer a either a no obligation trial (usually for 30 days) or a money back guarantee so that you can try out the voip service without financial risk.

How do I get started with voip?
You should probably first decide which of the two primary VoIP service providers is right for you. VoIP service providers such as Vonage and SunRocket are better as phone-based services. Service providers such as Skype are better as computer-based services. Each phone-based company has different phone plans that are suited to meet varying goals and requirements. Phone-based VoIP providers are more common as most computer-based company plans are limited to the company’s own subscriber base (their basic service does not permit you to call any phone which doesn’t subscribe to the same service). Once you’ve decided the primary service type, you’re ready compare the available different plans and costs.

What equipment do I need to use voip?
You will need some type of broadband (high-speed) Internet connection. This can be a cable modem, a high-speed service such as DSL or a Local Area Network (LAN) connection. To place calls into the regular (PSTN) phone network you will also need a VoIP service provider. The VoIP service company will provide an adapter that you can plug into your Internet connection and then you can plug your regular analog phone into the adaptor. Alternatively, you can also hook up an inexpensive microphone to your PC and send your voice through your computer and its high-speed Internet connection.