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Making the Switch to Voice Over IP
Author: Dave Markel

Copyright 2006 Dave Markel

VoIP is very cost effective as the monthly fee is lower than regular telephone networks. More than that, VoIP also integrate call forwarding and call display, options that are extra charged by the phone companies. Thus more and more people are attracted by this idea and tend to replace their phone lines with VoIP. Before taking such a decision it would be a good idea to keep some things in mind.

You might lose your old number once you switch to VoIP. This is not necessarily to happen, especially if the VoIP provider offers local phone numbers but it would be wiser to check this aspect with both your future VoIP provider and current phone company.

Due to its characteristics, a 911 call from a VoIP connection can't be tracked down and thus the operator won't be able to determine your location if you are unable to speak. Actually in order to make emergency calls you will have to register your address with your VoIP provider. Therefore it would be best to keep a standard connection in case you ever need to make an emergency call. This drawback could be solved in the future as the protocol undergoes constant development.

Apparently, these drawbacks are no reasons not to switch to VoIP as thousands of people decide to try the Internet miracle. The first step to making your first VoIP call is choosing the right provider for your needs. Most offer by default call display or call waiting and forwarding but the thing you really have to be careful is the fees providers charge for overseas and long-distance calls. Consider the people you use to call when choosing your provider.

VoIP providers also offer additional phone numbers most of the times. Therefore, you can choose to have numbers in different cities. The advantage of this option is that people living in those cities can call you for the cost of local calls.

Analogue Telephone Adapters or ATA are special devices that allow you to use your standard phone with the VoIP service. Although they can be acquired separately, most of the times ATAs are supplied by your VoIP providers. The basic equipment needed for VoIP calls is an IP phone, a broadband modem and a router. Computers can be bypassed although they make accessing the VoIP account easier while modems and routers can be incorporated into stand-alone units.

Connecting to a VoIP account is an easy thing. You just have to plug the IP phone into the router and the router into the modem. Also, service calls don't require any preinstalled equipment.

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Dave Markel is the owner of a Voip Services Blog. Visit it at voip--services.blogspot.com

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