Voice Over Internet Protocol, also known as VOIP, is a popular alternative to telephone service. There are many popular brands of VOIP services on the market. They offer telephone service to individuals as well as businesses for flat monthly fees, regardless of whether they are used locally, long-distance, or internationally. Many VOIP providers allow you to use standard telephones. You can also call any other phone you could reach using a telephone connected to a public landline telephone system.
There are three types of VOIP services. However, the most common type of business VOIP is achieved through an analog telephone adapter (also called an ATA). An ATA lets you use a standard telephone to provide VOIP services. This is in addition to the "IP Phones" which must be plugged into a router or microphone and speakers for computer-to-computer VOIP.
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The adapter plugs into the wall socket and the phone can then be used as a telephone line. The ATA converts your analog signal into a series of digital packets that are then sent over a broadband internet connection to the appropriate telephone exchange to complete your call.
Voice Over Internet Protocol has many advantages. This is why more businesses choose VOIP over traditional public telephone access. Many VOIP providers offer premium services like caller ID, call forwarding, and call waiting. They also charge a flat rate per call within the month and do not separate long-distance or local charges. Voicemail can almost always be checked online using e-mail. Messages can also be saved and sent to e-mail as attachments.
The ATA used by most VOIP providers simply plugs into a broadband connection. Business travelers can take their ATA and telephone to other locations, and still have access and control over their business phone and VOIP service. A "softphone", also known as software, can be installed on any laptop equipped with a microphone.