First; two assumptions before we go ahead:
- You have a line land
- You have ADSL or broadband through that land line.
If like many you’ve ditched the land line and opted for cellular technology, the following doesn’t apply.
If you need to make long distance calls, using the traditional services is akin to opening your wallet at the local council offices and begging them to empty it. Instead of such waste, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol – pronounced voy-p) could be for you. Think of dehydrated food, just add water, whiskey or whatever and wow you’ve got a pretty mediocre meal which will probably poison your liver. A VoIP system is based around a kind of digitized dehydrated phone conversation that leaves your liver intact. Sound is converted, put it into little data packets and is then sent elsewhere. At the other end, those data packets are ‘rehydrated’ into sounds we can hear and presto you’re having a conversation and it’s cost you little or nothing.
Using the internet this way makes VoIP similar to Skype which you’ve probably heard of. (Skype is a means of using the internet for video conferencing.) The difference being that Skype stays on the internet whereas VoIP uses the phone exchange at both ends and the internet as a vehicle between them. Currently you’ve got to have a computer and internet connection to use a Skype like service. With a VoIP service you can call anyone anywhere; even dear old granny who thinks a laptop is another name for a tea tray. You used to have to have a computer at least at one end to use VoIP but that is changing too.
For VoIP to work, you need a fast internet connection but not as fast at you’d think. Forget dailup speed though, that’s just stupid. With a fast enough connection, you can have several computers simultaneously surf the net, and answer a call using a normal phone while making a call out on VoIP system – all through the one phone line, seamlessly! You effectively have two phone lines with a VoIP system, the normal line and the VoIP, each with their own phone number. Anyone can call a VoIP phone number. They even list it in some directories and as a added bonus you might even get a polite Indian gentleman call you to sell something. It’s a win win.
Given that some VoIP services have packages costing less than $20 a month and include unlimited interstate and international calls the savings are pretty obvious. As you’re probably going to have broadband internet anyway it’s not a lot more cost for a lot more value.
To go VoIP you’ll probably need some additional equipment but this is a one time outlay and won’t break the bank. As usual contact me at Itjive.com if you need any help to get you on the road to more productivity and lower costs.