how to: internet phone (voip)

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for "Voice-over-Internet-Protocol." It basically means making/receiving phone calls over your Internet connection instead of over the telephone lines. Sometimes it's called "Internet Telephone." It's been around a long time and is generally about half the cost of a regular landline. Plus, you usually get a lot more calling features that you don't get for free with a landline.

For your wallet, VoIP did for telephone what email did for postal mail.

Any Drawbacks?

Yes. VoIP is dependent on your Internet connection and electricity. If your Internet connection goes down or you have a power outage, you also will not have telephone service. That means that you want to have a cell phone available in case you need to make an emergency call.

What Are The Advantages Then?

SAVE 50% or more per month on your phone bill! If you have family or friends that live far away and it costs a lot to talk with them over a landline, a VoIP service solves that problem for you. Plus, you have call waiting, caller ID, call blocking, 3-way calling, and dozens more FREE features that would cost you another $10-20/month if you added those services to your landline.

You also have voicemail that can email or text you when you have a new message, or you can set the system up to forward calls to up to five different alternate phone numbers to track you down. How much would AT&T charge you for that service?

Plus, you can either keep your existing phone number or get a new one. You can use your answering machine, or use the one that comes with the VoIP service. Lastly, you can use your existing telephone equipment; no need to buy special phones.

Where can I learn more about VoIP service providers?