VoIP

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Overview

VoIP is an acronym for Voice over IP, i.e. telephone-like communication carried over the Internet.

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This is a rapidly growing area of telecommunications, and many experts are predicting an imminent upheaval in the telecomm industry. Most VoIP service providers in the U.S. offer unlimited calling within the U.S. and very low rates (less than 5 cents/minute) for calls to most other countries. Established telecomm providers offering VoIP tend to charge about $40/month, with minimal frills; alternative providers tend to charge less and offer much better service, especially in the area of web interface.

Reference

Related Articles

Service Providers

Computer as phone

  • Gizmo
    • available for Linux
    • rich computer-oriented features
  • Skype: proprietary

Regular phone

  • lingo
    • Cheaper than Vonage, with some more advanced features
  • SunRocket
    • may be incompatible with regular phones; web site is not clear
  • Vonage
    • unlimited within U.S. for $25/month
    • plans start at $15/month
    • no setup charge
    • list of recent calls available via web
    • voicemail can be emailed to you automatically
      • annoyingly, the emails do not include the text of the caller ID, only the phone number
      • they also do not include the length of the call
      • in mid-2007, Vonage began offering an optional paid transcription service for their voicemails (text transcription of the message is apparently included within the notification email)
    • Vonage links: Technometria (2 articles as of 2006-09-19)

Software

Links