AEEM Guide VOIP: Voice over Internet Protocol
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The newest technology for making telephone calls is called VOIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Once the realm of computer geeks, VOIP is charging into the mainstream with VOIP offerings now available from many of the traditional phone companies. Among its unique features is the ability to effortlessly move your phone and phone number to anywhere that there is broadband internet access.

VOIP transmits voice as digital packets over a broadband Internet connection (cable or DSL) instead of traditional, dedicated phone lines. It requires a device at your end that is either a special Internet phone, a headset connected to your PC, or a device that converts your phone to an Internet phone, and a service provider anywhere on the Internet that will interface the other end of your Internet connection with the standard telephone network.

When choosing a VOIP service provider, here are some features to consider:
  • The ability to call anyone with a phone including local, long distance, mobile and international numbers, so you may call anyone you wish without an additional charge.
  • The ability to use a regular phone with an adaptor instead of one that works only over the computer for greater convenience without always tying up the computer
  • A competitive monthly cost and a flat rate for a fixed number of minutes. Charges vary from provider to provider, so it pays to check around.
  • Provisions for phone service during power and broadband outages so you always have phone service.
  • E911 calling for emergency situations, an arrangement analogous to that used for determining the location of a cell phone caller.
  • White pages listing so that others can get your numbers if needed
  • Call waiting, voice mail, caller ID, 3-way calling, and any other phone and calling features you would like to have

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