MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS & ELECTRONICS
Understanding Tech
VOIP FAQs

What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protcol. This new technology allows phone calls to made over the Internet by converting analog audio signals to digital data. The advantage of VoIP is the ability to place local and long-distance phone calls without paying extra phone charges.

Can I use VoIP with a regular telephone?
Yes. To use VoIP with your regular analog phone, you will need to install a ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) to plug your phone into your Internet router. The adapter converts the analog signal to digital data, so that the phone can operate over the Internet. Another option is to purchase an IP phone that has a built-in ethernet port that is ready to connect to the Internet.

Do I have to pay extra for VoIP?
No. You can make calls through your computer by using VoIP software. Some VoIP services limit calls to VoIP subscribers only, so check the service provider's terms.

How do I get VoIP to work on my PC?
For VoIP, your computer needs a broadband (cable/DSL) connection, VoIP software, a microphone, speakers and a sound card. Some free VoIP software is available for download or is provided by a paid VoIP service.

Do I need to leave my computer on all the time to receive calls?
No. If you are using a phone with an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) adapter, you can still make and receive calls as long as your Internet router is on.

Does VoIP offer services such as call waiting and voice mail?
Some paid VoIP service providers include free extra features like caller identification, call transfer and three-way calling as a part of their subscription. Each provider may vary, so check the service contract for details.

Is VoIP secure?
Because VoIP operates over the Internet, it is subject to some of the same security risks as transmitting any data over a network. To help protect your computer, keep your security software updated.

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Reference:
FCC (Federal Communications Commission) - www.fcc.gov/voip/
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