What Is VoIP?

Call over the Internet for less!
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) allows you to make and receive phone calls through your high-speed Internet connection using a standard phone or a computer headset. VoIP provides the same quality as traditional phone lines, but you pay far less for calls worldwide. Plus location doesn't matter. You can have lines in New York, Chicago and LA — all connected to the same system.

See our VoIP solutions

What are the key advantages of VoIP?

The biggest advantage of VoIP is the cost savings on your phone bill. VoIP lets you use the Internet to make long distance and international calls for much less than using traditional phone lines. You're charged only for Internet access, not long distance rates.

VoIP is cost-effective in many other ways, plus offers a number of technological advantages as well. By switching to VoIP you'll...

  • Reduce long distance and inter-office phone charges dramatically.
  • Avoid high international toll charges.
  • Eliminate the cost of traditional phone lines.
  • Lower enterprise costs by managing a single network for both voice and data.
  • Increase value-added technology opportunities, including IP multicast conferencing, telephony distance learning applications, voice web browsing, speech recognition, and more.
  • Lower operation costs — a VoIP exchange is based on software for your existing computer rather than hardware, making it easier to alter and maintain.

What do I need to make VoIP calls?

If you're making calls using a phone-based VoIP solution, you need 5 key elements:

  1. An existing touch-tone corded or cordless phone, or phones specially designed to access VoIP service.
  2. A broadband Internet connection — DSL, cable modem, or a network connection to access the Internet.
  3. An ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter), which is a device that connects your phones to your Internet connection. (VoIP-ready phones have this built in.)
  4. A network router, which connects your ATA and your computer to the broadband Internet connection. Many ATA devices have this functionality built in.
  5. A subscription to an Internet telephone company (ITSP), like BroadVoice™, Packet8® or Vonage™.

If you're making calls using a headset-based VoIP solution, you need 3 key elements:

  1. A headset that plugs directly into your computer's USB port or soundcard.
  2. A subscription to an Internet telephone company (ITSP), like BroadVoice™, Packet8® or Vonage™.
  3. A Softphone, like X-Lite by X-ten®. X-Lite is software which you can download to your computer. A Softphone is a screen-based interface that works just like your telephone keypad. It appears right on your computer screen and lets you make and receive calls, pick up your voicemails, call transfer, and more using your mouse or keyboard.