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Voice over IP – Saving Money

I called my friend in England just the other day. We talked for about half an hour and it didn't cost either of us a nickel. Free and clear as crystal, I used my computer. Nothing fancy, just a simple sound card, speakers and microphone is all I needed.

Jan 04, 2005

By Greg Richburg
Netricks, Inc.

I was on a tech support call with a client in Australia for over forty-five minutes. Guess how much that cost me. If I told you less than a dollar, would you believe it? Well it is true indeed.

I called my friend in England just the other day. We talked for about half an hour and it didn't cost either of us a nickel. Free and clear as crystal, I used my computer. Nothing fancy, just a simple sound card, speakers and microphone is all I needed.

If you haven't heard about Voice over IP yet, you most definitely will soon. There are several different methods to the crazed digital telephony protocol that could change the way you make calls and save you a bundle.

What is VOIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the concept for managing the delivery of voice information in digital format through the Internet rather then conventional voice telephone lines. In the simplest form, VoIP turns any computer into a telephone.

Although there are complex and costly ways to do this in the enterprise level, there are also simple, nearly free ways do use VoIP on the personal level. All that's required is a broadband Internet connection of some type. Now I am not here to advertise for any single organization selling VoIP equipment or services, but just to let you know, there are some that offer very nice package deals with equipment, Internet phones, headsets and all the fixings of standard enterprise phone systems. There are also software based systems that operate like your everyday chat systems and require only computer speakers and a microphone.

Why would I want this?

One major advantage of VoIP and Internet telephony is that it avoids the tolls charged by ordinary telephone services that use the standard public switched telephone network. Sure Pac Bell and ATT don’t like the sounds of that, not unless they figure out how to jump on the bandwagon and capitalize on this somewhat new form of technology.

Actually VoIP has been around for a while, yet it is starting to pick up speed now as an alternative means of communication. And the primary reason is that it will save you money.

Another money saving fact about VoIP is that since VoIP utilizes your broadband Internet connection for its delivery, customers do not pay Federal USF and FCC Line Charges and pay lower Federal Excise Tax.

WI-FI and VoIP

Now we're getting serious! Where is this going? Can it really compete with the cell phone? Well, at this time the wireless technology has some security risks and setup difficulties to overcome before it becomes a significant player in the game. But on a local, enterprise level, we are not far off.

What is the bottom line?

If you are tired of lofty telephone bills, perhaps there is a solution for you that will help with this years budget. You don't need to transform your entire phone system to utilize the benefits of VoIP. Start small and learn its potential.

A Rule for the Road:

Keep up with technology or else technology will pass you by; and the ignorance will cost you more than you will know.

All past articles written by Greg Richburg are available at http://www.netricks.com/news. Please address article suggestions to: info@netricks.com.

Greg Richburg a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and the owner of Netricks, Inc. a network consulting, web design and hosting company located in Fresno, CA. Visit Netricks at http://www.netricks.com.

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