What is VoIP Home?

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that enables telephone calls to be made over a broadband internet connection. A customer can avail this facility without much extra software / hardware installations and the overall cost for the service is much less than a traditional phone. VoIP used in the domestic context is sometimes referred to as home VoIP.

In home VoIP, what is free and what is billed?

If you are using free chat applications such as Skype or Google Talk, then conversations made using it are free of cost. But if you are using VoIP to call to another land line phone, that call will be charged, but definitely at a lower cost than with a traditional phone.

What are the basic requirements for start using home VoIP?

The basic but important requirement for using any VoIP service is a reliable broadband connection with a minimum downstream speed of 512 kbps and an upstream data rate of 128 kbps. If more than one person is using the service at the same time, the data transfer rate has to increase a bit more, may be to the mbps bracket.

Hardware components required include a PC, microphone, speakers, router and a VoIP gateway. The latter ones are installed by the VoIP service provider.

Is it possible for someone to continue calling you on your home VoIP phone at the cost of a local call even if you are away or in another part of the globe?

Yes, it is possible. This is in fact one of the largest pluses of home VoIP services. That is, at present, even if you are in London, still you can let your dear ones reach you at the cost of a local call and for that what all you have to do is to get a phone number based on your home state. So, irrespective of your physical location in the globe, your phone number will remain local to your home town, and your family members and friends could continue to call you at local call rates.

Could home VoIP customers receive additional features such as fax, voice mail, caller id etc?

Yes, but that depends on the service provider. Most current solution VoIP service providers in fact offer facilities such as caller id, call waiting, conference facilities, and call transfer as part of the subscription deal. Contact your service provider.

What are the disadvantages of home VoIP as opposed to its telephone counterparts?

The largest con of home VoIP is that it is directly dependent on power supply like your cordless phone or air conditioner. So, if power goes out, the current solution VoIP also shuts down. Further, any technical problems with the broadband connection could also hit the VoIP services hard.

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