VoIP Technology

by Guest Author on May 14, 2013 · 11 comments

in Editorial, Guest Blog

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[This week, we have something special for you. Over the past few months, we’ve had many people contact the Nifty Tech Blog interested in guest posting on the Blog. Unfortunately most of those inquiries haven’t panned out. They’ve just missed the target of  helping to demystify technology.

But this week, we have something that has hit that target. This is an article offered to us by Rachel Greenberg, who is a bit of a VoIP evangelist. Rachel is actually part of the VoIP industry, in that she contributes to several sites that help customers compare different VoIP providers to find the balance of cost and features that satisfy their needs. Since this article is more about a technology than a particular service offering, and since Rachel is a bit of an insider, we’ve filed this article under Editorials. You may feel there is some bias to the article, but it should still help you on your own investigation to see if VoIP is something that might make your life better.

We hope you enjoy Rachel’s article. – Editor]

A Quick Review of VoIP Service for Anyone Who Hasn’t Heard Yet

Nimble and quick, cheap and unlimited. Now those are words I’ve never used to describe my phone service, and I’m willing to bet that you haven’t either. And that’s why VoIP technology has gained so much attention in recent years.

In fact, you’ve probably used VoIP technology and just didn’t know what it was called. If you’ve ever called someone or video chatted with someone over the Internet through a platform like Skype, you’ve used VoIP technology.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the technology that lets you make phone calls over the Internet. It’s much cheaper than traditional phone service, which makes calls over copper landlines and through cellular towers.

VoIP is cheaper than other types of phone service for the simple reason that VoIP runs off the Internet, and the Internet itself is cheap and unlimited. Part of the reason that traditional phone service is so expensive is because those old landline and cell towers are expensive to maintain. In fact, lots of traditional telephone companies have converted a lot of their internal systems to VoIP, though most haven’t converted entirely. On its own, VoIP is extremely cheap, so there’s no reason you should be paying so much to make calls through an outdated service.

Most people know that monthly phone service is expensive. Typical service can cost anywhere from $80 to $120 a month. But a residential VoIP service can cost as little as $5/month.

As long as there is an Internet connection between users, all business and residential VoIP providers offer unlimited calls nationwide. No long distance fees, no roaming charges, no pesky pay-by-the-minute plans. And several VoIP providers extend this unlimited calling to Canada as well.

It can be such a pain to cut off phone calls because you’re short on minutes, and VoIP’s unlimited nature completely eliminates this frustration.

And as you have probably experienced, most service carriers charge about a dollar a minute when you need to make international calls. This is outrageous.

Even without an international plan, most VoIP providers starts users off with free 60 international minutes every month. And after those minutes, international calls can cost as little as $0.01/minute.

VoIP also has this cool feature with international area codes. Basically, any VoIP user with an international plan can chose an international area code. All calls made to and from that international area code then becomes a cheap local call.

A lot of people ask whether or not VoIP is adaptable to mobile devices like smart phones. And the good news is that most VoIP providers do offer mobile apps for their service. Many VoIP providers offer Android, Blackberry, tablet, and laptop apps so that users carry their cheap VoIP phone service wherever they go.

VoIP is a really great option if you’re looking to save money on your phone bill.  It makes it easy and cheap to connect with loved ones around the country, or across the world, or just across town.  It’s time to take back “cheap”. And I highly recommend giving VoIP a try.

[Rachel Greenberg is a tech and telecom writer at www.myvoipprovider.com.

If you’d like to be a Guest Blogger for The Nifty Tech Blog, write to us at NiftyTech@NiftyTechBlog.com. Give an example of what you’d like to review and why it should be Nifty Tech. – Editor]

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