VoIP is a relatively new technology that facilitates voice communication over the internet. In other words, VoIP services use the broad band internet connection to transmit the data packets as opposed to the wires in a conventional telephone. In the following paragraphs, we'll see a brief comparison between VoIP services and traditional phone services.
The biggest plus of VoIP services, as opposed to traditional phone services, is its easy installation features and low cost. What all one may need to start using VoIP is a PC, broadband connection, and an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA), which the VoIP service provider will offer to the customer as part of the deal. There is no costly infrastructure and with the ATA in place, one can use his/her normal telephone to make VoIP calls. Regarding cost, most VoIP services charge as less as $25 for all the features (such as caller id, call waiting, conference facilities, and call transfer) while traditional phone services are more costly with separate tariffs for long distance and local calls.
Another aspect that differentiates VoIP services and traditional phone services is the formers’ flexibility. That is, while normal telephones are permanently linked to the telephone lines, ATAs can be taken anywhere in the world along with you. Then, by attaching it to a normal telephone and an internet connection, you can make VoIP calls to any other ATA in the same network for no additional cost.
Again, with VoIP services, the customer can opt to own virtual telephone numbers in any place covered by the VoIP provider. That is, if you want your friends or peers in another state to be able to make calls to your VoIP phone without any additional cost or for local call cost, what all you have to do is to get a telephone number in that state and have the respective call routed to your ATA irrespective of your current physical location. By doing so, the maximum the caller may have to shell out for calling you will be the cost for a local call. This is a facility that is non-existent in the traditional phone services domain.
Finally, taxing is less on VoIP services. Apart from the Federal Excise Tax, VoIP services carry no other taxing while a traditional phone service billing includes numerous taxes and other surcharges. That is, while it is possible for you to use a full fledged VoIP service for $20.5 (say), you can own a traditional phone as well for the same price, but might have to pay the same money monthly without even picking it up for making a call once.
Now, here are some of the disadvantages of VoIP services over traditional phone services. VoIP is power dependent. That is, if the power supply goes off, VoIP facility also goes redundant just like your cordless phone or air conditioner. Functional glitches can also arise if the broadband connection or its switch develops some technical problem.
From the foregoing, it is clear that VoIP services are better than traditional phone services in most of the counts. But, amongst the VoIP service providers itself, there can be difference in tariffs and schemes, and hence you may need to do a bit of market research before eventually zeroing in on a particular service provider. Keep in mind, the benchmark for your study must be the facilities and services offered by the player and not necessarily the cheapest VoIP provider for it is the quality of service that matters in the end. Good Luck!
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