1. What kind of equipment do I need?

A broadband Internet connection. You can use a regular phone, as long as you connect it to an adapter. However, companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. now make VoIP phones that don't require adapters. The adapter or new VoIP phone connects to a broadband modem. Some VoIP providers can link to an entire home's wiring so adapters aren't required at each extension.

2. Is the system as reliable as the old-fashioned network?

Early VoIP services often sounded tinny, delayed or digitized. In recent years, the technology has gotten much better, and Guzman & Co. analyst Pat Comack said it won't be long before it achieves the tech industry's vaunted "five 9s" level -- 99.999 percent reliability. For now, VoIP may not be perfect, but cell phones have made people more accepting of less-than-ideal sonic conditions.

3. How does VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) work? What makes it different from traditional phone service?

Traditionally, a phone conversation is converted into electronic signals that traverse an elaborate network of switches, in a dedicated circuit that lasts the duration of a call. In Voice over Internet Protocol, a conversation is converted to packets of data that flit all over the Internet or private networks, just like e-mails or Web pages, though voice packets get priority status. The packets get reassembled and converted to sound on the other end of the call.

4. What Are Some disadvantages of VoIP?

If you're considering replacing your traditional telephone service with VoIP, there are some possible differences:

► Some VoIP services don't work during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power.
► Not all VoIP services connect directly to emergency services through 9-1-1.
► VoIP providers may or may not offer directory assistance/white page listings.

5. What do internet telephony,packet telephony, IP telephony and converged network means?

The first thing all mean the same thing. Which is using IP (Internet protocol) for voice services. Some voice networks are only packet-switched and have no access outside of their own VoIP network. Most VoIP networks have a Gateway that connects to a circuit-switched external network which gives them acces to external calling. One of the gateways responsibilites is to convert G.711 Circuit-switched media (typically a T1 provided by a telco company) to the 7.723 Packet-switched media that will traverse the companies VoIP network. A device called a gatekeeper will then convert the IP address (used by H.323 protocol) to a standard telephone number (E.164 address) that can be used for external calling.

A converged network is a network that passes both Voice and Data over the same set of devices. Converged networks generally implement QoS (Quality of service) on all actived network devices to ensure the VoIP has priority over standard data because of it's more rigid demands.

6. What are the advantages to VoIP?

The big advantage is VoIP may save you money depending on how much you are currently spending for local and long-distance calls. What you will need to do is get the total cost the phone company is charging and compare it against a VoIP plan that interests you. With most plans, you get free calls within the U.S. and Canada for a low flat rate. International calls usually have very low rates with no connection fees. For both residential customers and businesses that make a lot of long distance and international calls, the savings can be several hundred dollars a year.

Another advantage is with the features available with VoIP. Features such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, 3 way conferencing and voice mail are usually included at no extra cost. With the phone company, these services are usually extra.

In addition, you can make free phone calls anywhere there is a high speed Internet connection available. That means you can be in another state or even in another country and make calls as if you were back at your home or business. You will just need to bring your phone adapter along with you and possibly a phone in case one is not available.

7. What equipments are needed for VoIP?

Generally following things are required for voip

1. Broadband connection
2. voip phone
3. nexton softswitches
4. router
5. audiocodec
6. astric server

8. What is the biggest disadvantage to going VoIP with my home phone right now?

The biggest disadvantage is that currently all VoIP providers to not offer emergency 911 service in all areas. The FCC has recently ruled though that this is a mandatory requirement that must be completed by September 2005.

9. When can I replace my cell phone with a VoIP phone?

Most likely in the next couple of years. Right now cell phone service providers are developing cell phones that can roam for Wifi VoIP or traditional networks in order to give you the greatest savings dependent upon location. Wifi hotspots, however, do not currently cover as much area as cellular does, so it will take providers some time to work this issue out.

10. I am in business and would like to replace my corporations current PBX system with VoIP. Is this possible?

Yes, many companies are doing just this. VoIP is a very cost-effective method for companies who want to upgrade their old PBX systems and VoIP allows for new features that traditional PBX systems simply do not. Also VoIP web conferencing has come of age and also offers cost savings and many new features not available with traditional web conferencing methods.

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