Internet VoIP Solutions – What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages Of Using VoIP

VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, is basically using a phone over the internet, through your computer. There are however advantages as well as some disadvantages of using VoIP. Every time a relatively new technology is introduced into the market, there are a lot of people who may be a little reluctant to try it out, unless there are testimonials attesting to its usefulness or reliability, based on ease of use, cost or time savings. This is true to every new product introduced into the market.

The Internet now offers a myriad, variety of software to solve almost every problem imaginable. The transformation is almost complete… “The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth”. New software that was introduced not too long ago is VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol. Many have heard about it by now, but what VoIP does and allows is that any person with an internet connection can now make phone calls through the net, to anywhere in the world, for a fraction of the cost of a traditional land line.

Even though VoIP has its advantages, there are some disadvantages as well; and this is because it’s still a relatively new technology, VoIP has a few kinks it needs to work out. But this shouldn’t be much of a concern for users, since standards are now being set and developed to make VoIP a lot more reliable, in order to achieve a bigger acceptance as an alternate phone communication.

The end users are the first to benefit from VoIP, as traditional phone companies are now offering lower rates for long distance calls to stay competitive with VoIP. Many of these phone companies are somewhat being threatened because of the almost non existent cost of VoIP.

As a primary VoIP customer, whether you are residential or commercial user, you should be aware of some of the advantages and the disadvantages of using VoIP.

Some Advantages Of Using VoIP:

1. Extremely Low Cost
Almost everyone wants to cut down on utility costs; and this is because of the variety of expenses that one has to pay for on a daily basis. With a lot of bills and cost stacking up every month, any offer that allows you to save money is going to be a sure hit. Traditional phone companies charge a lot higher rate when compared to VoIP. In you have an Internet connection, (cable or DSL is required), using VoIP, you can call anywhere in the world for free, provided it is a PC to PC call. If you want to call from a VoIP line to a regular land line phone, there is usually a small fee; but is still much lower than the fees charged by phone companies.

When considering VoIP, look for VoIP providers that will charge fees on a monthly basis. Some providers will allow local calls for free and charge a small rate for overseas calls; so make sure that the VoIP provider you choose can meet your calling needs.

2. Portability
VoIP is just like email. You will be required to sign-in, and as long as there is an internet broadband connection, you can make calls or receive calls anywhere and at anytime. If you do a lot of traveling, then having a VoIP account can be very convenient. So make sure you pack an Internet phone or a headset when traveling.

It is portability at it best because you can make phone calls regardless of your location, using an unique number assigned to you, after you plug your laptop or computer into an Internet connection.

3. VoIP Has Added Features

There are a lot of VoIP competitors on the market. So based on competition, there are a lot of VoIP providers that offer added features such as caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, voice mail, and a lot of other features.

Some Disadvantages Of Using VoIP:

1. Beware The Power Outage

Regular phone lines can operate even during a blackout. This however is one of the biggest problems when using VoIP. When a power source is lost, there may also be no Internet connection, unless you are using a laptop with a battery. If there is a major blackout, VoIP can not be used at all. So it’s recommended, if you use VoIP as your only source of communication, you should have battery backups or power generators so you can receive or make calls.

2. Making Emergency VoIP Calls
When using a regular landline phone, emergency response services can monitor and trace your call, whenever you make an emergency call, such as 911. But when using VoIP, these same operators cannot pinpoint your location, so it’s not advisable to use VoIP when making emergency calls. VoIP providers are however working to address this problem.

3. VoIP Sound Quality and Reliability
This can be a problem when using VoIP. If you don’t have a fast internet connection, (cable or DSL), the digital data packs that are sent in scrambled order, is some cases, lost or dropped when using a slower internet connection. The distance of call and the connection speed are the problem. So it’s critical when using VoIP that you have a reliable broadband connection. VoIP providers are however creating data paths to avoid heavy traffic and ensuring high quality connections.

As VoIP providers and the industry are still relatively in its infancy, they are welcoming consumer interaction, feedback and complaints regarding their service to further improve the quality. Most of the kinks however has been worked out, or are being addressed to gain global acceptance.

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