VoIP Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to an Answer:

•  What is Voice Over IP (VoIP)?
•  How does VoIP work?
•  How Do I Know If I have a VoIP Phone Call?
•  What are the advantages of VoIP over traditional a telephone network?
•  What type of service and equipment are needed to use VoIP?
•  What kind of quality can I expect from Voice Over IP VoIP?
•  Do I need a computer to make/receive VoIP calls?
•  Can I surf the web during VoIP calls?
•  Should I use an (ATA) or an IP Softphone?
•  Can I use VoIP for all the phones in my residence?
•  Can VoIP make and receive calls to/from public switched telephone lines (PSTN)?
•  May I keep my existing phone number when migrating to VoIP?
•  What are VoIP Service Providers?
•  Does My Computer Need To Be Turned On?
•  Does the FCC Regulate VoIP?



Question: What is Voice Over IP VoIP?
Answer: Voice Over IP (VoIP) is the technology that enables users to make and receive phone calls thru the Internet as opposed to using the traditional public switched telephone networks (PSTN's).


Question: How does VoIP work?
Answer: VoIP involves the transmission of voice communication using the Internet Protocol that is already common in data transmissions on the Internet. Internet telephony software is also available that enables individuals to use the Internet as a transmission medium for essentially free telephone calls to anywhere in the world.


Question: How Do I Know If I have a VoIP Phone Call?
Answer: It will ring like any other telephone call.



Question: What are the advantages of VoIP over traditional a telephone network?
Answer: The primary main advantage of VoIP over traditional analog phone lines is it's cheaper. Other advantages of VoIP are as follows:
  • Digital features not commonly available on traditional phone lines such as voicemail
  • Caller ID
  • Conference
  • Music-on-hold
  • Conference calls
  • Call Filtering and Blocking
  • Receive voicemail to your email inbox or web page
  • Add multiple new inbound area codes for your phone allowing you to create a ‘virtual presence’ in other cities or provide a local calling number to friend and family members.


Question: What type of service and equipment are needed to use VoIP?
Answer: The following equipment and services are required to use VoIP:
  • High-Speed Broadband connection
  • IP Phones (Softphones will require PC) or Analog Telephone Adapters (ATAs)
  • A VoIP Service Provider.


Question: What kind of quality can I expect from VoIP?
Answer: It depends on two primary factors, the amount of bandwidth available and the IP Endpoints connected (whether there are additional components that are providing processing power to improve the connection). Experts do not recommend VoIP through dial-up or other Internet accounts that offer “low” bandwidth. This causes severe loss of quality depending upon the amount of congestion on the Internet, bandwidth limitations leading to packet loss, latency, and jitters.



Question: Do I need a computer to make/receive VoIP calls?
Answer: The answer depends on whether or not you will be using a softphone with your VoIP integration. VoIP does not require any computer to make/receive phone calls (only ATA devices or IP phones). If softphones are used instead of physical phones or (ATA devices), then computers are required.



Question: Can I surf the web during VoIP calls?
Answer: Yes, VoIP allows web surfing while making and receiving VoIP calls simultaneously. It shares the bandwidth connection with other LAN computers and prioritizes voice.



Question: Should I use an (ATA) or an IP Softphone?
Answer: It depends on your preference and budget. An (ATA) will allow you to use analog phones for VoIP. While this might save money, they do not have one touch feature keys (e.g. transfer, hold, etc). On the other hand, using IP softphones will provide more features that are similar to digital phones.



Question: Can I use VoIP for all the phones in my residence?
Answer: Definitely, VoIP can replace every single phone in your residence. Both (ATA devices) and IP softphones can be used instead of regular analog phones. This setup requires an account with a VoIP provider. It is recommended that you keep your current telephone service because a loss of power will mean your internet connection will go down and you will not be able to make or receive VoIP calls. VoIP is currently looked upon as a way to reduce your long distance telephone charges while capitalizing on many of the advanced features offered by VoIP technology.



Question: Can VoIP make and receive calls to/from public switched telephone lines (PSTN)?
Answer: Yes, VoIP users can make and receive calls to/from public switched telephone lines (PSTN) lines. Any type of calls (e.g. local, long distance, international, etc.) are allowed. This requires an account with VoIP Service Providers that provide termination.



Question: May I keep my existing phone number when migrating to VoIP?
Answer: Most VoIP Service Providers will allow you to keep your existing public switched telephone phone number for VoIP. However, you will need to check with the provider since not all of them offer this service. A signed ''Letter of Authorization'' will be required by the provider when keeping your number.



Question: What are VoIP Service Providers?
Answer: VoIP Service Providers are the next generation telcos that provide interconnection between VoIP and public switched telephone network (PSTN) networks. They allow call origination and termination between these two networks.



Question: Does My Computer Need To Be Turned On?
Answer: No, but your Internet connection needs to be powered and working.



Question: Does the FCC Regulate VoIP?
Answer: The FCC has organized an FCC Internet Policy Working Group to identify, evaluate, and address policy issues that will arise as telecommunications services move into Internet-based platforms.


Posted on Nov 14, 2005  Reviews | Share |  Digg
Filed in:
WAQUAR
Tuesday, February 21, 2006 12:18 PM
HI!!!

I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY THE CALLING RATES DIFFER DRASTICALLY AMONG THE COUNTRIES. FOR EXAMPLE FROM INDIA WE CAN MAKE A CALL FROM VOIP TO USA, UK AUSTRALIA FOR CHEAPER RATE BUT CHINA BEING CLOSER TO INDIA AN PAKISTAN BEING CLOSER TO INDIA COST MORE THAN WHAT IT COSTS TO CALL USA.
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