You may have heard about VOIP technology- after all, it has been around for almost a decade- but if you haven't taken a good look at the services that provide it these days, you probably aren't aware of the benefits that it can offer you. That's because there have been a whole slew of companies that offer VOIP calling plans with lots of extra features that are designed to save you money.
For the uninitiated, VOIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and it takes advantage of the fact that there aren't any long distance fees placed on data as it moves across the Internet. VOIP technology streams telephone conversations back and forth across the Internet without any loss of sound quality or even a noticeable increase in time lag. In fact, conversations using VOIP technology can be clearer than those using conventional telephone technology. As a result of this set up, you can make local as well as long distance calls for free. Even international calls can be made with sharply discounted rates.
One of the major ways that modern Voice Over Internet Protocol services have improved upon their forebears is in the equipment that they provide to their customers. It used to be that the only way to make a VOIP phone call was by using a virtual telephone on a computer that was hooked up to a high speed Internet connection. Now, while the high speed Internet connection is necessary, and phone calls can still be made over computers, the computer itself isn't really necessary. That's because modern VOIP services can provide you with special routers and adapters that can plug into your high speed Internet connection. Once that's been done, you can then plug your conventional telephone into the adapter and use it exactly like you would with a normal phone line. Because most of these services give you the option of logging onto their web site to make changes to your account- like initiating call forwarding, blocking numbers, accessing voice mail, and the like- a computer is very helpful to have with this service, but by no means necessary.
Other types of equipment that are out there and will allow you to take better advantage of your VOIP service include special phones that combine adapters and the actual hand sets of the phone. One company even offers a model that consists of an adapter/router, two charging bases, and two cordless hand sets. Once the adapter/router is plugged into the Internet connection, the charging bases for the handsets can be placed by any outlet in your home or office without having to worry about the location of phone jacks.
There's also equipment available that will allow you to make your VOIP service portable. For example, most adapters are small enough to travel with you in your luggage and can be plugged into any high speed Internet connection so that you can make and receive phone calls using your own number no matter where you are in the world! If you want even more portability, you can get a key chain USB device that can plug into any Windows computer with a high speed Internet connection and turn it into your phone. It even comes with a microphone and ear piece. There's also a handset that can be used to make and receive calls in any wireless hot spot.
These are just a few of the types of special devices that can make subscribing to a VOIP service more practical and flexible.
Julia Hall writes articles for consumers who want to find the latest VOIP Offers and news. She has written for many major publications about voice over internet phone services and how buyers can find the best deals. Follow her publications to find out how you can maximize your communications dollar without sacrificing quality while enjoying the best in VOIP service.