Its incredible to think that the telephone has been already longer than any of us have been alive. And with the cellular telephone emerging over the last 25 years, you would think that traditional home telephones would soon be extinct. But not so fast. The home and office telephone is going over a massive makeover in the form of the VoIP telephone.
What is a VoIP telephone? VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This essentially means that you use an Internet connection as a phone line. I find this particularly ironic because I remember a time early in the history of the Internet where you used the phone line to access the Internet! Immediately, this means savings for the home or business as you no longer need to buy both data network access and phone line access – instead, a VoIP telephone means that you can now use both over a data network – which has far more bandwidth, meaning you can use the data network for more things at the same time. If a phone line is a two-lane road, than a data network is a vast expressway.
The chief benefit for the VoIP telephone is the cost. Traditionally, phone lines were charged on a timely basis – in other words, the price of phone usage was calculated by the minutes used in a given billing period. This limited the amount of conversation you might have – too much and you’re paying hundreds of dollars. This was especially true with long-distance calls. But there is no long-distance on the Internet, and therefore, there are no long-distance calls on a VoIP telephone. Calling around the world costs the same as any call down the street. Furthermore, data networks are not charged on a time basis, but rather in the data used. Frankly, the amount of data usage given by most Internet providers are more than one would normally use, and the VoIP needs such little data to be transmitted. We recently fitted a system into a customer – Ashgrove Trading – you can see their website here – www.ashgrovetrading.com – and using this technology they are now saving almost 50% on their monthly phone bills – thats a lot of money and, being a telesales-based company, they will continue to reap the benefits of this for years to come.
The VoIP telephone is still not perfect. As an emerging technology, there remain a few problems. Some complain about the quality of the connection and audio, but work is being done quickly to mitigate this deficiency. In no time, using a VoIP telephone will be no different than any phone experience you might be used to.
So if you’re not ready to make your cellular phone your only phone line, take heart. A VoIP telephone is a great option to help keep phone bills down without eliminating the home telephone. And you can save several hundreds of dollars a year as well, all by switching from your traditional phone to a VoIP telephone.
Have you ever thought of owning your own private network enabling you to be in constant touch with friends and business associates? Probably sounds difficult to do or even impractical to set up and run! But don’t worry, this isn’t some work of science fiction; the name of the game is VPN. This is a step-change technology which facilitates VoIP communication over the internet and ensures secure communication in a private network setting.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, a technology which forms a private gateway between two users enabling them to share data and also encompasses security firewalls to protect against data theft and intrusion attempts. VPNs work using strong encryption thereby ensuring means of safe communication curbing incidents of eavesdropping and hacking.
VPN is primarily used by the corporate sector and IT companies. Having confidential information posted on Internet could be inviting trouble; hence companies have adopted VPN technology to keep the flow of communication covert.
The method in which VPN technology functions is, that using routers, connection between two users in established. The router acts like a private gateway to facilitate the purpose. The flow of communication through the router is protected since this gateway is not accessible by any other person because the routs are encrypted and protected by firewall.
The setting up cost of VPN is expensive since routers have to be installed, but since it’s a one time cost with greater benefits companies don’t seem to mind it. However an individual consumer would surely hesitate to incur an expense of this magnitude.
It is being revealed that, Enterprise routers and VPN generated $8 billion globally in 2014. Security of content has been, an issue with VoIP communication for some time now, but VPN has proved to sustain VoIP too very well, hence the future of, both VoIP and VPN is bright.
Although the end result of this technology is captivating and intriguing the fact is that VOIP technology works on a very basic principle. It is hard to believe that a technology that facilitates voice communication between two distant ends of the Earth easily is actually pretty easy to comprehend.
However it is the fact.
VoIP stands for Voice over the Internet Protocol. A phone call made from one end of the world to the other, using the internet as a route instead of the dedicated phone lines is what VoIP technology does. And the flavor of internet connection used for such a purpose can be nothing else but a high speed broadband connection. The internet works in a very organized manner, with a job deployed to each member of a team, like a router, a modem a cable a gateway etc!
Off course a gateway of the virtual world sounds intriguing! While VoIP digitizes analogue data into small packets to be transferred to the World Wide Web and vice versa, the flow of packets /data needs to be disciplined and streamed in a manner that it reaches the required destination for which routers, gateways, IP addresses are installed.
Depending on the requirement of a particular system a VoIP gateway can be installed as either a digital or analogue device within a router or a separate dedicated device. It is used to process the inflow and outflow of data from a virtual gateway. A VoIP gateway connects to the data network via Ethernet or WAN and converts the outgoing voice data received into IP packets suitable for transmission and incoming data into a stream of comprehendible data that can be used by the PBX system
VoIP gateways are special because they discipline the flow of audio data and convert them from digital to analogue and vice versa. Thereby rendering the proper channeling all data possible, this in turn makes use of VoIP really worthwhile!
It’s only a matter of time before technology brings to us a reliable VoIP codec for faxing. As far as VoIP goes, the speed with which it has chiseled through our lives, sweeping us off our feet it stands to reason that sooner, or later with our faith in telecoms restored Faxing over VoIP technology will soon be a phenomenal hit as well !
The basic issues concerning VoIP faxes are that unlike VoIP, VoIP fax works using a different codec. While trying to send faxes through VoIP we basically have two different codec’s running, one which supports VoIP and the other which supports the fax. That’s the reason why VoIP service providers include a free additional fax line with special faxing codec’s to allow and propagate the idea of Faxing over VoIP
The reason why faxing has not picked up popularly over the VoIP technology is the basic issue of data loss or damage. Basically how VoIP technology functions is that it coverts analogue signals into digital and transfer them in the shape of small packets over a high speed broadband line.
Now when the fax tone is digitized into packets and transferred from the VoIP server these packets are often lost or damaged. Packets are lost over a VoIP call too, but this loss is still manageable as the voice can still be interpreted and understood but when it happens to the data packets of a fax, the data lost makes for a message that is non comprehendible and can really mess up the fax and result in bad fax , dropped calls or error messages.
However using fax codec, chances of proper delivery of data is greater however chances of failure increase if the number of pages increases from more than 10.
A common practice is to scan the fax copy in to a .PDF file and email it across simultaneously while using VoIP fax.
Such limitations of VoIP faxing have hampered its course of acceptability; however it’s too early to conclude the fate of this technology as it is in its nascent stage.