The world is on the brink of a phone revolution, with a growing number of people cutting their telecom bills by making free calls via the World Wide Web. A recent sign of this is that EBay, the online auction website, is so sure the idea will catch on, that it has paid $4.1 billion for the Internet Phone firm Skype Technologies. Shortly all the millions of people who buy and sell goods on eBay will be able to use Skype's software, to talk to each other free and also make cut price calls to other landlines and cell phones.
Internet Phone services such as Skype are especially valuable for people who make a great deal of international telephone calls, as even these are free as long as both caller and receiver use the Skype software. The service works best over a broadband World Wide Web link but it can be used over dial up although a microphone headset is required to improve sound quality and you can also use the external speakers and microphone that are supplied with most personal computers these days.
It is terribly convenient to make an Internet Phone call, just determine which Skype user or phone number you want to call, press dial and a few seconds later you will hear the phone ring at the other end. Skype claims that the sound quality for an Internet Phone call is at least as good as a normal phone call, particularly if you use a headset. Nevertheless, some users complain about echoes and some delays between speaking and hearing the feedback.
There are also more drawbacks, most Internet phone services don't permit calls to emergency services, also you may not hear incoming telephone calls whilst you are away from your computer, and if you go offline or switch off your computer you will not be able to receive calls at all. On the plus side you can use the Internet Phone services to make conference calls and if you have a Web Cam you could also set up a videoconference.
Skype is not the only provider of free Internet Phone calls; they are also available with Vontage, BT Google Talk and several others.
Vontage is one of the most popular. The service uses a router and your normal telephone so you just make calls in the usual way, but they are carried over the Internet rather than you telephone company's landline. Telephone calls to other Vontage users are free, and you get extra services such as voice mail and call waiting included in the monthly charge cost.
Google Voice is the very best way to make free Internet phone calls. With Google Voice, you can make free phone calls, free PC to phone calls (via Gmail and a free plugin from Google), and free PC to PC calls (via Google+ Hangouts). Google Voice is much more than a way to make free phone calls on the Internet. Google Voice is primarily a way to manage the phone numbers in your life and can be used to intelligently route incoming calls to your free phone number provided by Google Voice to any other phone you have. With Google Voice, you can also get free SMS, make a free conference call, and get free voice mail services.
Free calls you make with Google Voice must be to numbers in the United States or Canada.
Google Voice is available as a web app that you can use in any browser, including mobile browsers (as pictured here). Dedicated apps are available for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone users. Free phone calls with Google Voice are limited to three hours. However, you can continue to make a free call to the same number over and over again.
iCall is another tool you can use to make free internet phone calls. With iCall, you can make free calls from PC to phone using their free software. The computer that you make calls from can be anywhere in the world but for the call to be free, the number you call must be in the United States or Canada. You cannot make free phone calls using iCall if you are calling outside the US or Canada. iCall is available as a free desktop application for Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux and as a free iPhone or Android app. Free phone calls will be disconnected after a short five minutes but you can call the number back again as many times as you want. A flash-based version of iCall is also available on their website but free calls here are limited to three minutes.
VoipBuster is yet another program you can download and make free internet phone calls with. Many popular world destinations are available for free, including the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and most of Europe. Free phone calls aren't limited per-call but per week - you're allowed to make 300 minutes worth of calls over the last 7 days for free. That might sound a little complicated, but for an average user that probably means that most calls won't cost anything.
VoipBuster is available via free MobileVOIP apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Nokia devices.
KNCTR is a free Internet phone call service that allows PC to phone calls anywhere in the US or Canada. I found the call quality to be lacking but you may have better luck. The greatest thing about KNCTR is that there is no limit to your free phone call length, or the number of free calls you make. The program is advertisement supported... heavily.
KNCTR is only available for Windows.
With the ongoing take up of Broad Band services around the world one has to wonder what is the longer term future for traditional land line based telephone services?
Upgrading a business phone system is, whenever possible, a much more cost effective alternative to replacing a business phone system. Replacing a business phone system can be an expensive and time consuming endeavor, to say the least. The biggest obstacle most businesses face when upgrading is that many business phone systems are expandable to a limited degree. Some systems have limitations that will force a business to completely replace their existing equipment. For this reason alone, it is essential that businesses consider both their current and future needs before making a phone system purchase.
If you or whoever originally purchased your equipment planned properly, upgrading your phone system could be as simple as adding a few new phones to your line structure. Some business phone systems, such as key systems, are limited in their expansion capabilities. They are lower in price than private branch exchange systems and are suitable for smaller businesses that don't expect to expand beyond the maximum number of lines and handsets. Private branch exchange systems, however, are extremely expandable and often offer more options, although the difference between the overall functionality of the two systems is disappearing.
In either case, it is imperative that you consider your present and future needs for terminals. Outgrowing a business phone system because you have reached its maximum expansion capability can be very costly. You should always contact your phone equipment provider for information on which systems are likely to be a good choice for your organization prior to purchasing. Most wholesalers and retailers of business phone equipment have worked in the field long enough to be able to give you solid advice that can keep you from making a mistake.
You should also consult your local or long distance phone service carriers for information on installation costs and upkeep. With a little research and planning, your business phone system should be an investment that saves you money.
The VoIP phone system and our revolutionized communication technology
The continuous revolution of technology is steadfastly converting our world into a better, more comfortable place to live in. Before, people only communicate through mails delivered by hand from one place to another. Years of innovation paved way to the use of telephones, beepers, and cellular phones. Communication technology's significant breakthroughs are still spewing out from the brains of the experts, and so today, talking to anybody anywhere around the world is made cheaper with the use of a computer and an internet connection.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the latest technology allowing you to deliver and receive voice calls using an Internet connection, particularly broadband, as a substitute to an analog or an ordinary phone line. Also, it is referred to as the Broadband telephony, Voice over Broadband, IP Telephony Broadband Phone, and Internet telephony.
Your voice is translated into a digital signal that travels over the Internet through the VoIP services. Once calling a regular telephone number, the signal is coverts to a regular telephone signal just before it arrives at the destination. VoIP can let you make a call either directly from a special VoIP phone, a computer, or a traditional phone linked to one special adapter. Wireless "hot spots" such as airports and parks allow you to connect to the Internet enabling you to use VoIP service wirelessly.
Complex modern VoIP phone systems are made of several interlinked components. For most businesses, it is as complex and ambitious as they desire to let every employee have a phone with an extension. Furthermore, it requires voicemail for transferring calls and so forth. Unfortunately, this is not the way VoIP companies provide phone service. Modern business phone system is complicated and difficult as it is made up of three components or more.
The main components for having a VoIP phone system are the phones, the service, and the connection. The phones are the real units you hold for talking. The service refers to the company that makes the whole system work and connects phones to the universal telephone network. The connection are the wires or servers, gateways, switches, and routers that are running full tilt and connected to the Internet and to the PSTN.
A broadband or a high speed Internet connection is one main requirement for having VoIP. Such connection can be managed with a cable modem or high speed services, such as a local area network or a DSL. Your computer is an important equipment needed. The adaptor or specialized phone is also required.
The three simple components can cover a big deal of complicated situation. Such complexity is dealt with by having time and money invested in understanding and maintaining the phone system. You may probably need to pay someone else to do it for you.
Today, VoIP phone systems provide telephone calls, where a fraction of the call routes over an IP network. Part of the call would travel over the Internet by a public or a private route. Once you are calling a regular phone, a part of the call will as well travel over the regular public telephone system or PSTN.
Your business will need to have an internal Ethernet network because of the IP network utilization for VoIP. Once you are using computers in your business, you certainly have it, so you do not have to worry. However, in case you realize that you do not have one, you can purchase an affordable one then have it easily set up.
VoIP services may allow you to call other people by using the same service; however, there are some which allow you to call anyone having a telephone number. This includes international numbers, mobile phones, local numbers, and long distance. Some VoIP services just work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, while other services let you use a traditional phone connected to the VoIP adapter.
We may consider a forecast that in the next two decades, each home will be utilizing a VoIP phone system. This will represent a considerable revolutionized communication technology. However, the experts must always consider the density of calls per second or the possible problems encumbered by traffic. Anyway, with all the innovations brought about each year, we must expect a highly transformed communication technology ahead.
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