Free VoIP phone services can be just the ride you're looking for in cost-effective phone services. VoIP is a near-perfect solution for budget-conscious home business owners working alone or with small staffs. With VoIP, you can make free phone calls over the Internet and avoid long distance charges levied by your local phone company. All you need is a good Macintosh or PC, a microphone, speakers and/or a headset.
Conventional Vrs VoIP Calls
Your local phone company has a reliable circuit switching system enabling calls at the touch of a finger that's been around for more than 100 years. When you make a call, a connection circuit is routed through your local carrier connecting you to your party. Your party's phone rings, he or she picks up and Voila! You have a clear (usually) connection for the duration of the call. This system is called the PSTA or Public Switched Telephone Network. In older days individual copper wires had to be connected between points A and B for calls to be completed. Not so today. Most of these connections are done through fiber optic cables with digitized voice data. When you talk, your patty listens, meaning the two-way connection is used less than half the time since conversations are filled with dead air pauses.
VoIP uses packet switching software, converting and compressing analog voice signals and transmitting this data in bursts routed over thousands of paths, exactly the same way your Internet Service Provider does. The signal is decoded on the receiving end, and converted into voice.
Free VoIP calls rely on a computer-to-computer connection requiring a computer microphone, headset or computer speakers, a sound card and a DSL or a cable connection.
Downside Of Free VoIP
- VoIP voice quality is sometimes less than desired because the Internet is subject to errors and signal losses when your internet Service Provider or DSL vendor goes down, leaving you hanging. Expect frequent downtime. Transmission errors can distort or garble calls and sever connections.
- VoIP systems are dependent upon electrical power and cannot operate without it. If your home's power fails during a storm, you'll be unable to make calls. You can offset this by installing a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
- PC standards differ regarding specifications and power requirements. Opening software programs can cause processor drain, causing call quality to deteriorate or system crashes.
- And since every computer user/operator has different skill levels, effective communication is sometimes hampered by inexperience or the fear of technology.
Where To Obtain VoIP Systems
You can perform a free test of your present phone system to make sure it can handle VoIP at Brix Network System Test.
- FWD A free SIP-based VoIP network.
- PeerMe VoIP system which uses a messenger-like client.
- Skype A proprietary freeware VoIP system which uses a messenger-like client.
- SIP Broker free VoIP peering and ENUM services.
- Vbuzzer A SIP-based VoIP service
- ISN Telecom
- Yahoo Messenger
- Yahoo Messenger
- Google Talk