Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New Directory for Skype Users

A new community of Skype users has been introduced with the goal of building a directory of Skype users contact information. Like a yellow pages directory strictly for individuals and business that can include your phone number, description, location and Skype name. Great idea.

Visit the site at:

If you aren't a Skype user, you can grab the software - for free - here and keep in touch with friends, family and even business associates at no cost.

Happy VoIPing!

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Ten Reasons To Go VoIP

Why go with VoIP? Many people today are asking the same question. VoIP is Voice Over Internet Protocol. It is also commonly referred to as VoIP, IP, Digital Phone, Broadband Phone and Internet Telephony. VoIP is basically your voice traveling over the Internet as opposed to PSTN or the Public Switched Telephone Network.

VoIP offers many benefits and advantages over PSTN networks. Here are the top ten reasons why you should go VoIP:

1. VoIP Saves You Money

Overall, VoIP is much more inexpensive then PSTN. You simply pay for your Internet service, and then whichever VoIP provider you choose. For a one time monthly fee, you can have unlimited local and long distance phone calls. You will need to check with the VoIP service provider that you choose for exact details on their rates. Sometimes, your VoIP service provider will allow free calls within the world to another computer, yet there may be a fee for calls worldwide to a landline phone. Always check with your chosen service provider for exact details regarding your chosen plan. But overall, the average cost of VoIP is considerably less when compared to the cost of PSTN.

2. Talk with Multiple People at no Extra Cost.

With VoIP, you can talk with more than one person without paying extra for services such as three way calling. With VoIP you can have more than three people on the phone at once. VoIP is the perfect solution for those who want to explore the features of conference calls.

3. Greater Flexibility with VoIP

By using VoIP, you can take your VoIP equipment with you whenever you travel. Your VoIP service provider will send you a converter that will allow you to use your converter with any standard telephone. The converter comes programmed with your telephone number, allowing you to take your phone and phone number with you worldwide. All you will need is a high speed Internet connection and you can use your VoIP phone service.

4. Save Money for Family and Friends by Choosing Your Own Area Code

Many VoIP service providers will give you the option of selecting your own area code number. This is a tremendous benefit to family and friend members who can call you locally, if you select the same area code number. This is especially beneficial when regularly calling friends or family overseas if you can select a local number in their country.

5. For Businesses VoIP allows Real Time Interaction

If businesses and their customers were both using VoIP technology, troubleshooting customers problems would be much easier. They would be able to communicate on the computer and on phone at the same time.

6. The Integration of Audio and Data

VoIP combines audio and data, allowing users to interact with data while using audio capabilities. This has unlimited potential when it comes to business users. Statistics show that the combination of audio and data is not only popular, but on the rise. For example, many people love the camera/cell phone.

7. VoIP includes many Features At No Cost

Many VoIP services include features that normally cost money with standard PSTN. These features include Voice Mail, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Caller ID, Call Blocking, Faxing, and Toll Free Calling. You will need to check with your VoIP service provider for an exact offering of the services that are available for free with your plan.

8. VoIP Saves Companies Money

Many companies have advanced telecommunications needs. Due to the fact that VoIP integrates data and video with voice, many companies are opting to go wireless. This is cost effective and more productive overall. They are able to integrate their systems with the Internet as well, leaving them more room for flexibility with clients and enhancing their customer service centers.

9. Reduce In-house Phone Lines

VoIP does not require additional phone lines for multiple users. This saves money. For basic PSTN networks, additional phone lines can cost $100 or more to install. You can save money by using VoIP services throughout your entire house with an additional costs.

10. VoIP Can Build a Faster Network

For companies that need to build a large network, will VoIP incorporate data, audio, video, and web features, but you can build a faster network over the Internet then you can with PSTN. The key to implementing your fast network is to use accurate assessment tools. By using software tools instead of hardware tools, your network may be assessed at any time, anywhere, and without testing individual equipment but by using a central program.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

VoIP Quality

VoIP was not known for great quality when it first appeared on the market. Thanks to technological advances VoIP has been holding their own against telephone heavyweights for quite some time in the area of voice quality. To get the most out of your VoIP connection you will need to invest in an up-to-date computer. If your computer is running on a slow processor or a very old operating system, your computer may not be equipped to handle VoIP and producing the high quality audio needed to have a great conversation. You should always check with your VoIP provider and see what their computer requirements are before signing up. You should make sure that your computer is fully prepared to adequately handle a VoIP connection. At the least, a high speed internet connection and a computer runnning the latest operating system with adequate memory and hard drive space is recommended.

Another step in producing great audio quality and VoIP is your soundboard. If you have a shabby soundboard and speakers, you will not experience the full range of VoIP. Your computer should be well equipped before considering taking the dive and unplugging your telephone wires.

VoIP operates by transmitting audio as data (in the form of Packets) across the Internet. The Packets can be transmitted to another computer or to a standard PSTN phone. If it is transmitted to a PSTN phone, the packet will be reassembled for the other hearer. All of this takes place in the blink of an eye and produces a conversation comparable to other service providers.

For VoIP to produce great quality audio, you will need to make sure that you have a High Speed Internet connection. This can be either DSL or Cable Modem, but VoIP will have conflicting issues with Dial Up. When you subscribe to your VoIP subscriber, you will be given software to install upon your computer. This will also include audio Codecs. Audio Codecs will enable your VoIP with high quality audio and great sound capabilities. There is no reason to believe that you cannot have excellent sound with VoIP.

VoIP is providing customers with not only great audio, but also with great features that are usually only provided for a fee with standard telephone service providers. Features such as Voicemail, Call waiting, Call forwarding, Caller Id, and Call Transferring are typically included free of charge with your VoIP package.

Many small businesses are opting to use VoIP for their telecommunication business needs due to the fact that VoIP offers great quality for a lower price. Small businesses are recognizing that the ability to handle all of their data, voice, and web applications with one service is of incredible benefit to the productivity of their company. The ability to interact with customers in real time, while utilizing E-mail, audio, and web applications is well worth the switch to VoIP.

Call centers are also taking advantage of VoIP services. In the early years of telemarketing history, call centers were comprised of one central office where hundreds, if not thousands, of employees gathered together to handle customer service calls. Now, by utilizing VoIP, call centers can exist anywhere worldwide. Many business owners are now outsourcing their business overseas, and with VoIP technology, agents can be hired around the globe, and in different time zones, allowing companies to have cost effective labor, that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There are other benefits for small businesses incorporating VoIP service. It is a great way for mobile employees to stay connected to their main offices and they can take advantage of the affordable rates. Mobile employees can also benefit from the fact that VoIP can be used anywhere there is a High Speed Internet connection. That means that if an employee travels a lot, they can receive business calls on their current work number via their laptop. This is an incredible savings not only of dollars, but of valuable business calls that may other wise be lost.

All in all, VoIP has increased to a viable alternative to traditional landline phone service. The quality has developed to the point that VoIP is a viable competitor against major telephone companies. As products and services continue to develop, we can only expect that VoIP will increase in quality, service, and standards. People value the nature of VoIP for its flexibility; cost effectiveness, ability to increase business productivity, and overall simplicity of design.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

VoIP, Now a Proven Alternative

Telephones have been plugging in for over 100 years. Today, thanks to new technology and the way people are thinking of telecommunications, people are literally pulling the plug on their telephones.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and this technology is taking the world by storm. More American homes are including computers with High Speed Internet connections, and with high tech homes, exposure to all of the options available to home users are changing the way people think about communication.

VoIP offers many benefits to both home residential users and businesses worldwide. In America, people are opting to go with VoIP due to the beneficial savings on local and long distance phone charges. Other reasons people prefer VoIP is that many of the calling features that are included for free with VoIP services are offered for a fee with standard telephone services.

VoIP originally was given away for free over the Internet. Programs such as Dialpad, Skype, Gizmo Project and other Instant Messaging services would allow users to make free long distance calls over the Internet. Now that user demand as increased for this service, free VoIP programs are harder to find. However, many Instant Messaging programs are enabling VoIP and allow users to download the program for free, make phone calls (anywhere in the world) and talk as long as they like.

Instant Messaging programs that are offering VoIP include Yahoo Messenger, AOL, MSN, and ICQ. Google has just recently released their first VoIP enabled instant messenger, GoogleTalk (Gmail account required to use).

Other than these free VoIP services, many VoIP providers will charge a monthly fee for the use of VoIP. It is recommended to research various VoIP providers before selecting the plan that has the amount of minutes you need, (many offer unlimited local and long distance calling) various calling features: such as Voice Mail, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, and Three Way Calling, and whether or not they provide a phone adapter of a VoIP enabled phone.

VoIP providers are wide and varied. Each will offer a different set of services and products for a different rate. However, you are certain to find a VoIP provider that will best meet your needs and budget.

It isn't hard to use VoIP- simply using VoIP with and Instant Messaging service proves that. In fact, as long as you have a High Speed Internet connection, Microphone, Speakers, and an up to date computer, you are in business.

A phone adapter will connect to your Internet connection (typically by an Ethernet plug) and there will be a phone jack that will allow you to plug in one of your standard telephones. With this phone adapter, your new VoIP service is fully functional with your telephone.

You may also opt for a VoIP designed phone. These phones can come with many features built in such as multi lines, mute, hold, programmable display buttons, and speakerphones.

Businesses are also choosing to pull the plug. Employers are quickly recognizing the benefits that VoIP has to offer not only their productivity but also the benefits available to their employees and customers as well.

VoIP offers a cost effective solution to many telecommunications applications, provide flexibility for employees, and increases customer service response by nearly 50%. It is much more inexpensive for an office building to wireless and rely upon the High Speed Internet connection that they have previously installed in their buildings. Mobile employees can stay connected and save on call charges by using VoIP, and customers can have their needs more efficiently met by using VoIP integrated systems.

Call centers are also making the switch to VoIP and pulling the plug on standard telephone networks. While many companies are choosing to outsource their work to countries where they can hire inexpensive labor, VoIP makes that possible. Not only is VoIP a perfect solution for overseas outsourcing, it is also paving the way for home workers as well.

Customer service applications are greatly enhanced by VoIP. Companies can have Integrated Voice Response systems that will handle calls and efficiently transfer them to the appropriate department. All of this can be done while still enabling real time interaction with E-mail, Audio, and Web Control features. VoIP has proven that it's a viable alternative to standard PSTN telephone networks.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

New WiFi VoIP Phones Are Coming

Looks like going VoIP will now be going wireless.

If the announcements from the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas are any indicator, WiFi VoIP phones are the next big trend.

Several manufacturers including Panasonic, Uniden and Motorola have announced cordless VoIP phones that have built-in adapters preset to popular VoIP services like Vonage and Skype. The phones will not only work on your home or office wireless network, but at wireless hotspots found in airports, hotels, coffee shops, malls and other locations.

Vonage previously has bundled service with several phone systems including the VTech IP 8100-2 (pictured above) which has received excellent reviews.

Currently about 5 million users have VoIP and that number will increase to approximately 20 million over the next 2 years according to analysts.

Great news for those of us using VoIP. Keep innovating!

Happy VoIPing