When you call an individual over a VOIP phone system, you are literally calling him or her over the Internet. The technology behind the call itself is very similar to that used to transport your voice over a phone line, with the main difference being that it is carried through your broadband connection instead! If you still happen to be on a dial-up connection then it is doubtful that VOIP will work for you.
Calling on a VOIP system can be much cheaper than using a traditional landline and, in some cases, may even be free. Other individuals that have the same VOIP system as you, Skype for example, can make calls to you and receive them from you for free. However, if you are calling a user on another VOIP system or a traditional landline phone then you will be charged for the call itself. However, you should check out your calling options in advance. Some services offer different tariffs, much like a mobile phone company. You can choose to pay a monthly fee or opt to pay for the calls that you make, as you make them. Some services also add an extra charge if you want to receive calls from landlines.
It may come as a surprise to find out that VOIP may cost you, and that may initially put you off, but it works out a lot cheaper than using a landline or a mobile phone. In fact, it can be less than half of the cost, depending on how you use your service! However, some services are more expensive than others so be sure to check the tariffs in advance.
Quality may be an issue with existing VOIP services because the actual phone system does not have to adhere to any minimum standards. This is because he technology is so new that none have been set as yet. This could mean that the quality of certain calls would be poor, but you have nobody to officially complain to so be prepared!
As previously mentioned, the quality is also poor on dial-up connections so it may not be well suited to the equipment you have. This also applies to the operating system of your computer. Some VOIP systems cannot be used on older systems because they are not technologically advanced enough to be able to handle it while landline can be used.
Finally, if you have a limit on the amount of data you can download per month then VOIP may cause you a few problems. VOIP uses data to transport your voice and the person you are calling’s voice. As a result, it counts towards that limit and may actually use it up much more quickly than the applications you already use and surfing habits that you already have do. It is not hard to use 50MB+ up in an hour of chat! Be aware of this before you begin to make VOIP calls because you may want to rethink your package.
VOIP phone systems are most definitely the way to go in terms of the future of communication. They are convenient to use, as well as fairly cheap compared to landline. However, you should always explore your options and read the documentation and user guide before beginning because this could save you a lot of hassle in the future!