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Your VOIP Common Questions Answered

Aug 17, 2007
Technology is increasing daily and plenty of consumers are facing new challenges about learning new forms of communication using computer hardware or software. The changes in our world raise many questions, and these common questions and answers focus on one growing area of communication, IP Telephony or Voice over Internet Protocol. These questions that people often ask are heard all over these days, but our answers will help explain much about this new phase of keeping in touch with others.

What exactly is IP telephony?

IP telephony is a term that refers to VOIP technology or Voice over Internet Protocol. It is essentially the routing of voice conversations over a network, such as the internet, or any IP based interface.

IP telephony, Internet telephony, Voice over Internet Protocol, VOIP, Broadband telephony, Broadband phone, and Voice over Broadband are all terms that relatively refer to this in the same way.

If someone mentions any of those terms, they are likely referring to the notion of IP telephony. It is a growing aspect to communications, too, and many people are starting to use it in their homes to help with their communications aspects.

Where did IP telephony come from?

IP telephony is a commercial evolution of the 1973 project called "Network Voice Protocol". Network Voice Protocol was a computer networking project that was used to transport human speech patterns over communications networks.

It was developed by internet researcher Danny Cohen of the Information Sciences Institute and was created to demonstrate that it was possible to develop a feasible blueprint for two-way voice communications over a digital network.

The Network Voice Protocol project was used to send speech between sites on the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network or ARPANET. ARPANET is a United States Department of Defense project designed to produce a global network. It also became an ancestor of the internet.

What are some tasks that IP telephony can perform better than traditional communications equipment?

Incoming phone calls can automatically be directed to your VOIP phone, wherever you happen to be in the world, as long as you have access to a network. This means that you can take your phone with you wherever you want and remain connected to your office or to your family without worrying about any long distance aspects or any other additional charges.

There are also connected call center agents online at all times, around the world, that can assist you with any problems you may have with your IP telephony technology. This enables you to remain connected and plugged in to the answers you need while you go where you need to go.

Just how reliable is IP telephony, anyway?

As conventional landline phones are connected to telephone company phone lines, they may actually be kept going in the event of power outages or other occurrences that may interrupt the service. Most household VOIP broadband services, however, rely on a modem connection or other powered services to make the phone work.

In these cases, a VOIP phone may not be the most reliable service you can have. On the other hand, there are many options you can take to create a more reliable service for your phone so that it will not be interrupted by power outage or other issues.

What is Skype?

Skype is one of the most popular providers of VOIP telephony services in the world. Created by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, also of the file-sharing program Kazaa, Skype enables its users to utilize IP telephony software protocols to achieve peer-to-peer voice conversations.

They offer both paid and free services and generally operate for private, personal users. Business users tend to go for some of the more elaborate plans whereas Skype tends to offer what works as more of a messenger service with voice software over a network. Most aspects of Skype are free.
About the Author
Mike Selvon owns a number of niche portal. Please visit our voip portal for more answers on common voip questions, and leave a comment at our voip blog.
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