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VoIP Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I switch to VoIP?
By Business Telephone Systems Dallas / In-House
January 11, 2013
VoIP Frequently Asked Questions
How VoIP / Internet Voice Works
VoIP services convert your voice into a digital signal that travels over the Internet. If you are calling a regular phone number, the signal is converted to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the 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" in locations such as airports, parks, and cafes allow you to connect to the Internet and may enable you to use VoIP service wirelessly.
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?
A broadband (high speed Internet) connection is required. This can be through a cable modem, or high speed services such as DSL, Fiber or a local area network.
Is there a difference between making a Local Call and a Long Distance Call?
Some VoIP providers offer their services for free, normally only for calls to other subscribers to the service. Your VoIP provider may permit you to select an area code different from the area in which you live. It also means that people who call you may incur long distance charges depending on their area code and service.
Some VoIP providers charge for a long distance call to a number outside your calling area, similar to existing, traditional wireline telephone service. Other VoIP providers permit you to call anywhere at a flat rate for a fixed number of minutes.
If I have VoIP service, who can I call?
Depending upon your service, you might be limited only to other subscribers to the service, or you may be able to call anyone who has a telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers. If you are calling someone who has a regular analog phone, that person does not need any special equipment to talk to you. Some VoIP services may allow you to speak with more than one person at a time.
What Are Some Advantages of VoIP?
Some VoIP services offer features and services that are not available with a traditional phone, or are available but only for an additional fee. You may also be able to avoid paying for both a broadband connection and a traditional telephone line.
What Are Some disadvantages of VoIP?
There really are no drawbacks but rather features gained. Something you want to be certain to address is backup power. Just like any phone system, if your power is lost, you should have a battery backup that will keep the phones functioning. If you're considering replacing your traditional telephone service with VoIP, there are some possible differences:
Can I use my Computer While I talk on the Phone?
In most cases, yes.
Can I Take My Phone with me When I Travel?
Yes. With Smartphone such as the Apple iPhones, its more convenient to install the Softphone App that allows your Smartphone to function as the office phone. You still have all the same features such as placing a caller on hold and them hearing the company on-hold message, transferring to a different extension, record all calls in WAV format…
Does the FCC Regulate VoIP?
In June 2005 the FCC imposed 911 obligations on providers of “interconnected” VoIP services – VoIP services that allow users generally to make calls to and receive calls from the regular telephone network. You should know, however, that 911 calls using VoIP are handled differently than 911 calls using your regular telephone service. Please see our consumer fact sheet on VoIP and 911 services for complete information on these differences.