Updated: December 08, 2023
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  VoIP FAQs(Frequently asked questions)

What is VoIP?
VoIP, otherwise known as Voice over Internet Protocol, is an inexpensive way to make both local and long distance phone calls. Instead of using your phone company, you will make your phone calls through your high speed Internet connection. There's no need to purchase lots of new equipment either since VoIP works with your existing telephone. You can keep your existing phone number and everything sounds the same as with your old phone service.

The biggest difference is in the price or cost of the service. The cost of VoIP is cheaper than the fees that phone companies charge and it offers more than the basic landline service that you start with. Call waiting, voice mail, and caller id are only some of the features that are sometimes included with your basic fees depending on your VoIP provider.

VoIP features, however, go above and beyond those typically offered by the phone companies. In addition to the features already mentioned, you can access your voicemail from your computer or receive emails whenever a new message has been received. Some companies that offer VoIP also offer the capability of making phone calls directly from your computer to another computer, free of charge, anywhere in the world.

How Are Phone Calls Made with VoIP?
VoIP refers to the process of transmitting voice communications through IP packets over the Internet. In other words, it routes telephone calls over the Internet. It can also be refereed to by the following names: IP Telephony, Internet Telephony, Digital Phone, or Broadband Phone.

What Type of Equipment Do I Need to Use VoIP?
In order to access the services of VoIP, you must have the proper type of Internet connection. This would include DSL, broadband, or satellite. VoIP cannot be accessed with dial up Internet. As long as you have a reliable Internet connection, your phone call service with VoIP will be reliable.

Since a variety of VoIP configurations are available, consumers are required to maintain an account with a VoIP service provider.

In addition to a high speed Internet connection, the VoIP service provider that you select will send you a phone adapter to use. The adapter is easily connected to your broadband modem or router in a few minutes. Once your existing phone is plugged into the adapter, your VoIP service is ready for use.

Why Should I Switch to VoIP?
The primary reason to switch to VoIP is for the savings that you will obtain due to the lower cost of using this service over conventional telephone company services. Depending on the telephone services that you currently pay for, you can save as much as 50 to 75 % on your phone expense. Plus, you can utilize more than one number using the same high speed Internet connection.

Do I Need to Have a Computer in order to Use VoIP?
Although a computer allows you to access specific features that are offered with VoIP, it isn't necessary to make phone calls. The important thing that you need is access to a high speed Internet connection. Plus, if you intend to make computer-to-computer calls, then you will need to have a computer.

Is It Difficult to Learn How to Use VoIP?
No. There's nothing new to learn since you continue to make your phone calls in the same manner, dialing the phone numbers the same as always.

Can I Call Anyone I Want to Call?
With VoIP, you can call any phone number. The phone number can be a local number, long-distance number, cell number, international number, or fax number.

What Type of Features Do I Get If I Use VoIP?
Features that are commonly offered with VoIP service providers include voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, caller ID block, online call logs, online account management, online voicemail access, free in network calling, email voicemail alerts, call return capability (*69), 3-way calling, call forwarding, and selection of your area code.

The ability to use your number and service from any location in the world as long as you have your adapter and access to a high speed Internet connection also exists. Other services that might be available include audio conferencing, sending or receiving messages, managing address books, and checking to see who else is online.

What Type of Calling Plans Can I Get If I Use VoIP?
A variety of calling plans exist through most VoIP service companies. Typically, all local and long distance phone calls can be lumped into a plan that charges one flat fee. Additionally, plans that offer unlimited minutes or a specified number of minutes. These plans are usually very reasonable in cost. Some providers offer all-inclusive plans that feature long distance calling to areas outside the country including Western Europe, Asia, Mexico, and more.

Will I Save Money with VoIP?
Many consumers who switch to VoIP save hundreds of dollars every year in fees. Plus, some VoIP service providers offer special incentives such as free member-to-member calling regardless of location, free VoIP phones, free VoIP adaptors, or free account activation.

How Much Will It Cost to Use VoIP?

Obviously, the fees vary across VoIP providers. Many VoIP service providers offer a flat monthly fee that includes the basic unlimited local and long distance calling features as well as specific additional features such as voicemail or caller ID. In fact, many plans begin as low as $10 for 500 minutes and $20 for unlimited minutes. International calls are usually assessed a fee, however, this is typically much lower than the rates charged by traditional landlines.

What Kind of Quality Will I Have with VoIP?
The quality that you receive with your VoIP services is contingent upon the quality of your Internet connection. The higher the speed of the connection that you have for your Internet, the better the quality of your VoIP service will be. Ideally, you should have a minimum of 90 kbps upload and download speed to ensure good voice quality.

Before canceling your current phone service, it is important that you check the quality of your chosen VoIP service. Make several phone calls and compare the quality of the calls to that which you are used to getting with your old phone service. If you are satisfied with the quality that you have received, it is probably safe to cancel your old phone service. If, on the other hand, you are not satisfied with the quality of your new VoIP service, you should check into the cancellation procedure. Most VoIP have predetermined requirements that must be met in order to receive a refund.

What Happens if I Try to Use VoIP with Dial UP Internet?
If you attempt to use VoIP with dial up service, you will most likely experience call lagging, dropped calls, or poor quality on the call.

Can I Keep My Existing Phone Number And Phone Line?
You can transfer your existing phone number to your VoIP service, unless your DSL service is already using that phone number. There isn't any true need to continue to keep your existing phone line once you have ensured your satisfaction with your VoIP selection.

However, some customers opt to maintain their old phone line since they will continue to work during power outages. VoIP service will not continue to work since your Internet connection is dependent upon electrical power. Moreover, some DSL services will require that the consumer continue to have a phone line in order to obtain their DSL service.

Can I Make 911 Calls with VoIP?
Since November 28, 2005, it has been mandated by the Federal Communications Commission or FCC that all VoIP providers make enhanced 911 or E911 accessible to all of their new customers. This is the most advanced of the emergency calling services and it instantly locates the address from which the call is made. In the event that you move or bring your VoIP service with you when on vacation or traveling for other purposes, it is necessary to update your address information.

Can I Make 911 Calls with VoIP?
VoIP service providers offer international calling. However, each provider sets their own rates and offers their own plan. Check into each service provider, especially some of them include free international calling to specific areas within their basic coverage.

Can I Send a Fax with VoIP?
Not all VoIP services offer the support needed to make calls via fax lines. Fax calls are often charged at a different rate than phone calls. Therefore, you should check into the fees that each service provider charges if you intend to use the fax capability on a regular basis.

What Are the Primary Advantages of Using VoIP?
  • VoIP results in lower bills for your calling needs.
  • You have access to geographic mobility as long as you have an Internet adapter.
  • VoIP provides call hunting through which you can be located for the phone numbers that you specify.
  • Voice messages can be sent and received through your email.
  • You can select your area code for your phone number.
  • Various features are available including call waiting, conference calling, call blocking, caller ID, and voicemail.