VOIP stands for voice over Internet Protocol and the capability has been around as long as the internet. In its basic form VOIP allows you to ‘talk’ over the internet. All that is required is a sound card equipped with speaker and microphone. Free software such as Skype takes care of the interface in the computer and all a user needs is the IP address of the person he wishes to contact. Of course, both parties need to be similarly equipped and using Skype.

Skype is a very basic VOIP software and has very limited application to normal telephone communications or telephone numbers. However, with additional effort VOIP can replace normal telephone service.

DSL is a broadband application that normally requires a telephone line. The DSL broadband connection operates independent of normal telephone use. You may use the telephone normally while using DSL at the same time. DSL is fast enough to support VOIP but since you need basic telephone service in order the get DSL, there is no need to have basic telephone service in addition to VOIP.

VOIP is more attractive than normal telephone service in that it can be far more economical. Basic telephone service averages about $30 a month as compared to basic VOIP service at about $20 a month. VOIP is cheaper but it is also more capable. All those extra features that the phone company likes to sell as optional extras are included in the basic VOIP setup. Also included in basic VOIP is domestic long distance. No extra charges for long distance calls made to locations in the continental U.S. So, assuming you need lots of optional extras and are a heavy user of long distance calls, the VOIP compares very favorably against a normal monthly telephone fee as high as $50.

However the real savings is obtained by using VOIP and CABLE to replace normal telephone service and DSL. When you consider basic DSL at $30 a month, combine that with basic telephone at $30 a month, it compares on par with basic cable modem at $40 a month combined with VOIP at $20 a month. The costs are about the same unless you add in another $20 a month for VOIP over DSL in the first example.

Never mind that you get additional functionality with VOIP regardless of where it is used, would you rather pay $80 a month for DSL, Phone, and VOIP or $60 a month for CABLE and VOIP. Both solutions offer the same features but the DSL, VOIP solution is $20 a month more expensive.

Both solutions will save on long distance charges but why throw away an additional $20 a month?

Imagine my surprise when a well known ISP began to bundle DSL and VOIP services. Evidently they are betting that most consumers are not smart enough to avoid throwing away $20 a month.

Explore posts in the same categories: computer stuff, consumer

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