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Voip - What Is It, And Will It Really Save Me Money?

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By Author: Rob Parker
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Whether in a business or personal context, odds are good that you have heard of VOIP. The idea of VOIP is very appealing and many companies suggest that using this technology will save you money. In this article we take a look at what exactly VOIP is, and whether or not it will actually save a person money.

VOIP defined

VOIP is an acronym that stands for voice over internet protocol. Like a lot of these terms, it is fairly easy to understand if you add a few more words to the short hand; in this case, it seems more straightforward to refer to it as voice transmitted over the Internet.
In effect, this is exactly what VOIP is; the use of the Internet to transmit voice in the same way you would use a telephone.

If one looks at the advancements in technology over the last ten years, VOIP and its widespread usage seem fairly inevitable. In fact, some of the advantages of VOIP are probably obvious right away; there is a great potential to do away with costly phone services, including long distance charges, in the near future. This is exactly what companies are marketing today, trying to persuade companies and individuals to use this service, but will it really save you money?

The answer

In our opinion, VOIP has a vast potential for saving the user money, although in many cases this potential is not realized. For example, one wonders why, when VOIP technology is offered for free by companies such as Skype, companies would try to sell this service at all. In fact most computer users with a headset have been taking advantage of this technology for several years, most of the time for free. So if you have to pay an additional cost for your VOIP service, it's probably not worth it.

Additionally, VOIP has not yet reached a stage where users can do away with their landlines and the contingent costs for good. For one thing, emergency VOIP calls are unreliable and 911 still needs to be used over a landline. For another, there are often delays in transmitting VOIP messages, delays that can be frustrating and may lead to confusion, particularly in the business environment. If you hold to the adage that time is money, then VOIP may cost you more than your phone line (which at any rate, you probably will have to keep paying for).

In conclusion, we will say that when VOIP has advanced sufficiently, it will have the potential to save individuals and businesses money. However, as with anything else, it is likely that the companies running the phone lines and other communication mediums will charge according to the demand for the service, so it's not likely that a good VOIP program will always be available at a price lower than that of a modern phone line.

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