To VoIP or not to VoIP ?
Unless you live under a rock somewhere in Antarctica, you
already know VoIP is an abbreviation for voice over Internet
protocol, also known as broadband telephone. That being said,
should one use VoIP ? How does it work ? What are some benefits
? Are there any problems with VoIP ?
To answer this question we first need to know how broadband
telephone works. First and foremost VoIP works on a broadband
Internet connection like high speed cable or dsl, a DTA (
digital terminal adapter ), and just about any average home
telephone will do.
Most long distance telephone calls are carried over the Internet
(yes, traditional calls). The DTA box transmits and receives all
calls directly to the Internet, bypassing the telephone company
all together, consequently; bypassing all the taxes and sir
With most VoIP services, the big benefit for the consumer is
significant cost savings. Service ranges from between nine and
thirty dollars a month depending on the plan you choose. Many
VoIP companies offer flat rate calling, and some for under
twenty dollars a month. See
As with any new technology, there are still a few bugs to be
worked out. Some VoIP services don't offer 911 service in all
areas. The FCC has passed legislation to have VoIP companies
make 911 service available to all consumers by November 2005.
The DTA only connects to one telephone. A fix is plugging the
outgoing DTA line into the network interface telephone box
outside. Unplug the telephone companies line and plug in your
own. If the telephone company tries to reconnect, it might fry
your DTA box. Put a warning sign up.
This technique will propagate the VoIP signals throughout all
the lines in your home. Another quirk is when Internet service
or electricity goes out so does your broadband telephone. If you
don't already have cell-phone service, a cheap pre-paid works
nicely as a back up.
All in all, my experience has been VoIP is worth what you pay
for it. Knowing the bugs and their fixes can lead to substantial
cost savings in telephone service. Even if one doesn't
completely replace their traditional telephone company, VoIP is
an excellent choice for a second telephone line or even just as
a long distance plan.
VoIP could even be a good excuse to upgrade your dial-up
Internet connection to high speed Internet. The reasoning behind
it being, the savings in telephone service could offset the rise
in the cost to upgrade to broadband Internet service. You be the