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VoIP Frequently Asked Questions

How does VoIP/Internet Voice Work?
VoIP transfers the voice into the digital data send over the Web. If you dial a stationary phone number, the data is transferred to a common phone signal before reaching the destination. VoIP provides calling services for a computer, a particular VoIP phone, or a common phone through a specific adapter. Moreover, wireless "facilities" in places as parks, airports or cafes let you connect to the Web and allow you to call through VoIP.

What Hardware is needed?
High speed connection (broadband) is necessary. You can receive with high speed technologies as local network or DSL or with a cable modem. You need an adaptor, a computer or a special phone. Some of VoIP services can be applied only through a computer or a specific VoIP phone, and others provide the service over a common stationary phone attached to a VoIP adapter. Using the computer you'll require special software and a cheap microphone. Specific VoIP phones are built into broadband Internet and act as a common telephone. If a traditional phone with a VoIP adapter is used, you can dial the number as always, besides, VoIP services provider can fix you up with a dial tone.

Do a local call and a long distance call differ?
Commonly VoIP service providers offer the possibility of calling for free, traditionally to other system users. VoIP service providers commonly allow the customers to change the area code they are calling from. This can also lead the people who are trying to access you to some expenses. It commonly depends on their code and type of service.

Some VoIP service providers make you pay for a long distance call, processed to a number beyond the calling area limits, as a common phone service usually does. Others provide long distance calls for low rates and a limited amount of minutes.

Having the possibility to call over VoIP, whom can I access?
It depends on your type of service - you may have possibility to call other system users or you can call anybody who possesses a telephone number: it belongs to long distance, local, international and mobile numbers. If you're trying to access somebody who possesses a common analog telephone, that individual don't require any special hardware to speak to you. There exist Vo IP services that allow customers to speak with several people at one time.

What Advantages Does VoIP Have?
VoIP services commonly offer some options, which aren't available if you use a common phone, or available for additional payment. You can also save money on paying only for telephone line or broadband internet, but not for both of services.

What Disadvantages Does VoIP Have?
If you're planning to replace your common stationary phone with a VoIP one, you can notice some mismatches:

  • Some VoIP providers don't allow staying on the line when you turn off the power or it may not provide additional power.
  • Some VoIP services don't connect to emergency service when dialing 911. To learn more, visit www.voip911.gov.
  • VoIP service providers do or don't offer white pages or assistance.

Is it possible to use a computer when speaking on the phone?
Usually you have such a possibility.

Can a phone adapter be taken to the travels?
Some VoIP providers supply you with services which you can use anywhere where there is broadband internet connection. If using VoIP from a new place the opportunity to call emergency services directly with 9-1-1 can be lost. To learn more, visit www.voip911.gov.

Do I have to leave my computer turned on?
You should leave it turned on only if your services require a computer. All VoIP services need high speed internet to be available.

How to recognize a VoIP phone call?
If there is a specific VoIP phone or a common phone attached to a VoIP adapter, it will sound as a regular telephone. If the VoIP service you use is processes through a computer, the applications offered by your provider will give you notice when there is an incoming call.

Is VoIP regulated by the FCC?
In June, 2005, the FCC developed some rules on 911 for the VoIP service providers - services, providing the customers with the possibility of making calls from the traditional phone network. However the 911 calls made with the help of VoIP service are processed differently from 911 calls, made by traditional phone service. Observe the client fact sheet for the VoIP and 911 calls at www.voip.gov for fuller lights on these mismatches.
Besides, the FCC demands interconnected VoIP services to take 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act into consideration and invest into Universal Service Fund, which provides customers able to pay for communication services.

The information given here may change due to the internet technology development. Always contact the VoIP service provider if you are interested in some services' benefits or limits.

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