Voiceover IP Guide | Compare VoIP Providers
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Essentially this describes voice communications (ie talk calls) transmitted over the internet or an internal intranet. VoIP is also sometimes referred to as IP telephony.
Voice data is sent in IP packets rather than by traditional POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) circuits.
VoIP providers translate your voice into a digital signal that travels over the internet. If you are calling a normal phone number, the signal is translated to a standard telephone signal before it reaches its destination. VoIP can allow you to make a call directly from a computer, a special VoIP phone, or a traditional phone connected to a special adapter. In addition, wireless "hot spots" may enable you to use VoIP service wirelessly.
VoIP is a core technology that encompasses desktop applications, telephone services, corporate phone systems and more.
An increasing number of organisations use VoIP in addition to their existing telephone services, as VoIP is usually much more economically priced than the rate offered by standard telephone companies. It should be noted that occasionally VoIP providers don't offer the emergency services provision, but as the technology develops, this omission is rapidly being corrected.
VoIP call charges
Many people think of Voiceover IP as a 'no charge' phone system. However there are actually three distinct types of VoIP calls and each of them attract separate call charge rates.
1] Calls between VoIP telephones
2] Calls out from a VoIP telephone to a landline (PSTN phone)
3] Calls in from a landline to a VoIP phone.
What is generally free are telephone calls made between two VoIP subscribers, where they use the same VoIP company. The calls are part of the everyday internet traffic, where the only associate costs are the users regular broadband charges. Depending on the VoIP companies, VoIP calls between users of different VoIP companies are often also ‘free’.
Telephone calls out from a VoIP phone to a landline will be charged to the maker of the call by the VoIP company. It must pass the call through a VoIP-to-landline gateway.
Incoming landline calls to a VoIP telephone will be charged to the maker of the call, depending on the type of number that the VOIP phone has been assigned. If the VoIP number is National Rate, then the cost to the caller will be around 4p a minute. If the VoIP number is Local Rate, then the cost to the caller will be lower, at prevailing local rates.