VoIP is set to revolutionise home communications. With VoIP you can make telephone calls over your broadband connection for free! Well in some cases you can, in other cases you might need to pay a monthly subscription to a VoIP service provider.
There are a few different ways you can take advantage of VoIP at home.
PC to PC
The simplest and most cost effective way to get into VoIP is by installing some free software on your PC and invest in a telephone headset( you can also use a microphone and your PC speakers). Once you have this set up you can talk to other people using the same software from your PC to their PC.
Sounds good? Well yes and no, you both have to be sat in front of your PC's to communicate, which is not particularly convenient. Though if you are making a lot of international calls this can be a great way to speak to relatives overseas completely free of charge.
PC to Phone
You can take phone calls over broadband a step further by setting up a 'PC to Phone' VoIP system. This is similar to the 'PC to PC' method outlined above. You need to have a headset and download specialist software too, though with this method you can contact any phone you like.
However, via this method the calls are not free and you will need to prepay for your calls. The supplier of your software will require you to add money to your phone account much like the pre-pay system for mobile phones. When you choose your service provider you will need to carefully check the rates they offer. Some have great deals for landline calls, but are expensive if you wish to call a mobile phone - so do your research.
Phone to Phone
This is the most exciting incarnation of VoIP for the home, you can either buy a VoIP ready phone or an adaptor that connects your phone to your broadband line, and from there contact any phone over your broadband connection.
You will need to sign up with a VoIP service provider to accomplish this. Usually you will be charged a monthly fee, and typically get all your UK landline phone calls free. There are additional deals for international calls and contacting mobile phones.
Whatever option you chose to connect to at home, you are sure to take advantage of the future of home telecommunications - VoIP!
The author runs a
site about UK VoIP Service Providers