1.2. VoIP-Based Phone Service Providers
The Golden Age of broadband began with catchphrases like "surf the Web five times faster" and with promises of ultra-fast music downloads. But in the late 1990s, few would have predicted that VoIP-based telephony would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of once-hyped broadband technologies like cable Internet and DSL. Sure, web surfing at "the speed of light" and downloading music are greatbut can they save you money? Legally?
VoIP telephony canand does. For roughly half the cost of a traditional phone line, you can subscribe to a VoIP telephony service provider rather than to a phone company. You'll get a standard phone number that people from the non-VoIP world can use to call youand you won't have to pay $5 a month extra for voicemail and caller ID.
This chapter has a handful of hacks that will show you how to maximize your broadband voice service. So, if you subscribe to a VoIP service provider, you're ready to hack. If not, what are you waiting for? "Get Connected" [Hack #1] describes some VoIP-based phone providers that you should evaluate as you prepare to dive into VoIP Hacks.