Make unlimited¹ VoIP phone calls to other landlines and mobiles by connecting your existing home phone and broadband to a Vonage VoIP adapter, from just £3.99 per month.
It is referred to as a number of different things, but 'Voice over IP' is short for 'Voice over Internet Protocol'. Sometimes it's simply called 'VoIP'. But what exactly is VoIP? Here is the low-down on VoIP and how Vonage use VoIP to make a normal home telephone work like an IP phone.
VoIP or Voice over IP, is the future of making and receiving telephone calls. The technology involved is called internet protocol (the 'IP' bit of Voice over IP). It turns your voice into data packets and sends them instantly over your existing broadband network to the person you're calling. The receiver notices nothing different; they still hear your voice as normal. The call quality will be very similar to, or the same as, that of any regular landline service. Find out exactly how Vonage works.
VoIP calls can be made either via your computer or through a regular phone handset. IP telephony or VoIP calls tend to be cheaper as they use the infrastructure you've already got in place to make and receive your calls.
Although there are different reasons for using IP telephony, using VoIP to make and receive calls saves people and businesses money, especially with the unlimited¹ call plans that are available. Some people may want to install a second phone line using VoIP, often as an additional family telephone line. Some need an affordable small business phone line to help reduce business overheads. Others may 'switch and ditch' meaning they sign up to a Vonage as their primary landline to make VoIP calls. They then cancel their old cable landline service, to avoid paying for line rental.
There are a few different ways in which Voice over IP is used to make phone calls. You don't necessarily need a VoIP phone to make VoIP calls. The first and most flexible method is the Vonage way, ie phone-to-phone. It's just like using a regular landline phone service. With your existing broadband and a Vonage adapter, you can turn your DECT phone into a type of IP phone. The person you're calling will simply answer their phone as normal; they don't need an IP phone, a broadband connection, or even a computer.
The second is PC-to-PC. You sign up to a VoIP provider that offers PC-to-PC calls. This method tends to be free, but it typically has limitations. The person you want to call usually has to sign up to the same service or download the same software. You typically both need to be sitting in front of your computer or at least with your computers switched on and you'll usually need a headset & microphone. The call quality is typically a common complaint.
The third way of using VoIP is PC-to-phone. You call from your computer to a 'normal' landline or mobile phone number. These 'outage' calls are chargeable, and you usually need to be in front of your computer, or at least have your PC switched on, to make and receive calls. The Vonage Softphone is a PC-to-phone solution which is an add-on to your existing Vonage call plan. It allows you to make calls from your PC to other landlines or mobiles.
Now you know what IP telephony is and how Vonage uses it to offer cheap VoIP call plans.
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