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VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is the ability to transmit voice over the Internet and to either a receiving computer or telephone. VoIP works by what is referred to as the Packet Switching Network. Standard landline telephones use the Circuit Switching Network. The entire landline telephone system is known as the Public Switched Telephone Network.

The main difference between Packet Switching and Circuit Switching, is that Packet Switching uses (data) or Packets and sends them over the Internet while Circuit Switching is accomplished by using electrical circuits to make a telephone connection. Circuit Switching is like the old switchboard operators, wearing headsets frantically trying to connect the right caller with the receiver. Packet Switching is used to transfer data all across the Internet- it is used for E-mail.

Packet Switching converts audio formats into data packets and transmits them over the Internet, then reassembles them on the other person's phone or computer in real time.

By using a High Speed Internet Connection, a microphone, and speakers a conversation can take place that is comparable to any landline telephone conversation.

VoIP technology is not relatively new; it is just becoming increasingly popular. During the latter part of the 1990's, programs were springing up across the Internet offering some form of free VoIP technology. Most of those are either no longer existent or now charge a standard monthly service fee for the use of their product. But one thing remains certain, VoIP is developing higher standards of quality every day, and it has proved that it is a viable force for telecommunication needs for the future.

Many telephone companies are expanding to allow for monthly VoIP services. Companies such as Sprint, Verizon, and AOL are offering VoIP plans.

Instant Messaging programs have been utilizing the science of VoIP technology for years. Now, most Instant Messaging programs come with 'voice' enabled features. These features allow you to call a member of your buddy list. By using a microphone and speakers, you will be able to converse anywhere in the world, by VoIP and your Instant Messaging program.

VoIP is prized for its ability to integrate many forms of telecommunication applications into one package. VoIP can handle data, audio, video, E-Mail, and web based applications simultaneously. This makes VoIP an incredible boost to businesses. It also is s a cost effective choice of telephone service.

Instant Messaging is a perfect example of how VoIP incorporates different areas into one program. With your voice enabled Instant Messaging program, you can hook up a digital camera or a web cam and use video, while you are speaking with your buddy on your microphone and listening to them with your speakers, and you can type back and forth with your chat program. You could also write an email while you are doing all of these other tasks at the same time. The potential for VoIP'S use is nearly limitless.

VoIP telephone service providers are increasing in popularity as well. Many people are discovering all of the benefits available to them by switching to VoIP. First, VoIP costs significantly less than standard telephone service, and this is a great attraction for bringing in new customers. Many VoIP service plans will let you make unlimited long distance calls or provide you with a plan for very inexpensive rates.

Many of the features that are often included for a fee with traditional phone service are often included for free with VoIP services. These include features such as Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Call Block, Three-Way- Calling, Voice Mail, and more. Another benefit to VoIP services include the fact that many providers will let you keep your existing phone number, or allow you to select a new area code. Selecting a new area code has great appeal to many people. For instance, a customer can select an area code for the same town where most of his friends or family live. By choosing this area code, not only is he still getting a great deal with his VoIP services, but also now his family and friends will save money whenever they call. For them, it will be a local and not a long distance call.

VoIP has proved that it is a viable force in the field of telecommunications, we can be sure that VoIP is here to stay

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