Welcome to the knowledge center for all things VoIP. This section was created to explain in more detail what VoIp is, what it's for, and the different ways to take advantage of the technology.
What is VoIP?
It is often thought VoIP is Internet phone service, and while that's one of the benefits of VoIP, it isn't quite an accurate description. VoIP is an acronym. While many people pronounce it as a word, the correct pronunciation is to just say the letters v - o - i - p, since VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.
VoIP, as the acronym suggests, is a protocol. A protocol that takes voice signals, and converts them for digital use over the Internet. Landline phone on the other hand uses analog voice signals, which won't work over the Internet, which is digital.
Because VoIP works over the Internet it's possible to use VoIP many different ways. VoIP can be used for home phone service, it can be used for making VoIP calls from your Internet connected cell phone, or make calls from your computer to cell phones, landlines, or other computers using VoIP software such as Skype.
Internet Phone Service
VoIP is the backbone of all Internet phone service, whether it be from your cell phone, home phone, or your computer. The phrase Internet Phone Service might make one think you would need to be connected to a computer to make a phone call. This couldn't be farther from the truth. For VoIP home phone you only need high-speed Internet, and a VoIP phone adapter, or router. For Mobile VoIP you just need either a WiFi connection, or mobile broadband connection, and possibly a cell phone app like Skype Mobile. The only time you need a computer to make VoIP calls is if you're using VoIP software like Skype. In this case you'll aslso need speakers, and a mic, or a headset with built in mic, plus a high-speed Internet connection.
Broadband Phone Service
When you use VoIP with a normal house phone connected to a VoIP router, or adapter, it's referred to as a broadband phone, or broadband phone service. Some examples of broadband phone service would be Vonage, or Phonepower. You use a normal touch tone phone to make and receive phone calls. The difference is usually price. Using broadband telephone for home phone service can cost half as much as a traditional landline, and even less.
If you have a smartphone, or a phone capable of at least 3g data connections, you might be able to take advantage of mobile VoIP. Since your phone is connected to the Internet via WiFi, or your wireless carrier's data plan, you could use mobile VoIP apps such as Skype, or Rebtel to make free VoIP calls from your cell phone to anyone in the world using the same VoIP app on their phone, or on their computer, or even low cost international calls. This makes it possible to save your anytime minutes, plus make free or cheap International calls.
PC to Phone VoIP
You can use VoIP to make calls from your PC to landlines, and cell phones. This is called PC-to-Phone, and normally requires a subscription. Skype being as popular as it is, is well known for it's pc-to-phone services.
PC to PC VoIP
You can use VoIP to make calls to other computers for free using messenger services like Windows Live, Yahoo, Google Talk, and Skype. There is no subscription or service fee for any of these PC to PC VoIP services. It's absolutley free. All you need is an account with one of the named messenger services, a high-speed Internet connection, and either speakers, and microphone, or a headset with microphone built in. You can call anyone in the world, and talk as long as you want for free to anyone who has the same messenger service.
Does VoIP Really Save Money?
You bet! VoIP is the absolute best way to make free and cheap phone calls. VoIP home phone service can be more than 50% cheaper than a landline, it's also cheaper than most digital phone services such as cable. VoIP is the cheapest phone service available today. We want you to save on phone service. When you shop here for VoIP you'll see only the best deals on Internet phone service, and the lowest rates on VoIP. Low VoIP phone service rates are available from many different types of VoIP services, and providers. Let us help you get the best VoIP deals, and we'll help you save money on phone service.