VoIP started as an industry buzzword to describe a bunch of protocols that allowed phone calls to terminate across an internet connection. On the face of it, not really exciting stuff for you and me. The reality however, is that VoIP is for everybody, not just the nerds to talk to each other via Skype or Google Talk. In fact, VoIP stands to benefit those of us whole like to use the phone, not chat on the internet!
- You need a computer to use VoIP FALSETo make a phone call over VoIP, all you need is a normal phone (the one you use now) a little box called an ATA, and a broadband internet connection. The computer does not even need to be switched on.
- You need to dial codes to make cheap phone calls FALSEResidential VoIP does not require you to dial or do anything different. You just pick up the phone and dial the number.
- You need to be good at computers to use VoIP FALSEOnce your broadband connection and your VoIP plan and ATA are all set up, you do not have to do anything else other than pick up the phone and call. It is “set and forget” technology.
- VoIP sounds bad FALSEThe quality of the call depends on the provider you choose, the hardware you buy and the speed of your internet connection. If you, or a professional, set these things up correctly, VoIP calls can even sound better than some telephone companies aging phone lines!
- You need to make lots of STD calls to save any money FALSEIf you make a lot of STD calls, you will stand to save even more money than most people, but even local calls are much cheaper with VoIP. If you spend more than $10 a month on calls after line rental, then you will save money.
- With VoIP I wont be able to dial ‘000’ in an emergency FALSEAs the industry regulates, VoIP providers are required to provide access to 000 through their service. However always ensure an appropriate back up in the event of power failure.
- If there is a power failure at home, or my broadband is offline I won’t be able to make calls. FALSESome ATA’s will fallback to your regular landline if your power or internet fails unless you have disconnected your regular landline.
- You will have to change my phone number FALSEIf you choose to keep your landline you can receive calls on your existing phone number as well as your new VoIP phone number while using the appropriate ATA.
- You will only be able to call other VoIP users FALSEMaking calls through VoIP will allow you to call any phone number in the world at significantly cheaper rates.
- I won’t be able to use features like voicemail and “last unanswered call” FALSEA good VoIP provider will provide both of these things, and some include a feature called Vmail where your voicemail messages are emailed to you if you like.
So there you have it! VoIP is not about computers. It is about saving money by combining your phone service with your existing broadband service. Most VoIP providers even allow you to make free calls between other users on the same carrier, so if you and the people you call regularly decide to choose the same VoIP provider, the savings you make could be even greater.
Check out our VoIP Price Comparison page and see what is on offer!