- all about Voice Over IP
VoIP Connections bypassing phone network
VoIP connections using phone network
FXS/FXO gateway pairs
VoIP CONNECTIONS VIA THE PHONE NETWORK
There are several companies that provide VoIP services which allow you to
connect to the existing phone network. This means that even though you
are using VoIP technology, you can dial "regular" phone numbers and receive
calls at a certain number.
Some of these companies target large corporate customers
and provide "full-service" solutions, integrating company directory,
fax, email services, etc. We won't consider these services as they
are usuall come with a completely different set of requirements than
those of consumers, freelancers and small businesses. For these
categories of users, the spectrum of choices includes:
TWO TYPES OF "PHONE-NETWORK-INTEGRATED" VoIP SERVICES
A convenient way to group these services is by their hardware
requirements, that is to say, by whether they require a computer
to place and receive calls:
- NO COMPUTER REQUIRED
Companies that offer fully integrated solutions not requiring
computer (Vonage, Packet8).
With these services, you can use regular telephones.
How does it work? When you sign up for the service, the VoIP
company sends you what's called a "terminal adapter" (DTA)
that plugs into the Internet (usually through a router, which
you may or may not already have) in your home or office.
Then you plug your regular phone into the adapter and get the
Although the underlying technology is VoIP and you do need
a broadband Internet connection (and possibly a router),
no computer is necessary.
- COMPUTER/SOFTWARE REQUIRED
Companies offering computer-based services that are partially
integrated into the telephone network. There are companies
such as Net2Phone and WebPhone which allow you to dial
regular phone numbers using software running on your computer
as the main interface to the VoIP service.
ISSUES AFFECTING PHONE NETWORK SERVICES
The biggest questions are:
- 911 (in the US) or other emergency services
- Keeping / transferring previous phone number