Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is the process of converting your voice into data that can then be transferred over the Internet to another computer, which then decodes that data back into audio. VoIP is poised to change the way we think about making calls, because by using your existing Internet connection, you can call anyone in the world with an Internet connection. Several services have sprouted up to make this process easier.
Vonage and Skype are just two of the many VoIP services that allow you to phone either other computer users or make Internet to POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) callscomputer to phone. Once you've downloaded Skype's software, you can make free phone calls over the Internet to anyone else running the software. And for an additional fee (about 2¢ per minute) you can call anyone using a regular telephone.
Vonage is a similar company to Skype, but much more telco-like. Using its software, you can make calls over the Internet to other Vonage users. However, to take full advantage of the service, you need to install the free phone adapter, which allows you to keep your existing phone number and add as many additional phone numbers as you like in whatever area codes you desire. Vonage also has a software-only version called Vonage SoftPhone. This is a screen-based interface that works just like your telephone keypad. You can make and receive calls and pick up your voicemail. SoftPhone also supports Caller ID and call forwarding.
Learn more about VoIP at:
www.skype.com or www.vonage.com