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How To Use VoIP on Your Computer to Save Money

Updated on June 13, 2013

VoIP – The New Communications Technology

The traditional PSTN phone system is decades old. Despite the advent of smart phones, the fundamental protocols and ways of thinking remain the same. Though calling costs have gone down, it still expensive to make international calls. In addition, you are charged for the amount of time spent. While this may seem reasonable because we have all gotten used to it, it doesn't mean that it's the only way to get things done. The Internet especially has shown us that there is a new way of working. A new way to communicate. Even for free.

To get a handle on this, think about e-mail. Do you pay for every message that you send? Does it matter that the person you are e-mailing resides in another country? Does it make a difference which device you compose and read your mail from even though your e-mail address remains exactly the same? The answer to all of these is no. Yet these are limitations that are present with the traditional phone system. The Internet however simply brushes them all aside.

The equivalent of e-mail for voice is known as Voice over IP or VoIP. The architecture is very similar to e-mail. You need a service provider just like an e-mail provider and you need a VoIP client just like an e-mail client. These VoIP clients will be installed on your local systems – whether it is a PC, a smartphone, or a tablet. These Internet enabled devices will be your windows to the world and will allow you to place free or cheap calls to your friends and family across the globe.

Using your PC to Make VoIP Calls
Using your PC to Make VoIP Calls | Source

Two Use Case Scenarios

There are two fundamental ways in which you use VoIP. Either you're speaking to a person who is on the same VoIP service that you are, or they are using the traditional PSTN phone system or even another VoIP provider. In the case of the former, the entire call can be completed over the Internet resulting in zero charges for you and for them. That's right – zero. You've already paid for your Internet connection and so have they. So why should you pay for anything more?

The second scenario however is if they are using a regular telephone which is extremely likely. In this case, your call will travel over the Internet for as long as possible before finally dropping down to the PSTN phone system. Unfortunately, we now have to inherit some of the properties of this legacy system and pay the costs. The good news is that you have to pay far less than you would have had the entire call been made over the copper wire. International calls are especially cheap because you do not have to pay the expensive cross-border rates.

If you're a business, you will need secure VoIP services in order to implement all of the features and obtain the reliability you require from a communications network. There are many SIP hosted VoIP service providers on the market even in your locality. Contact them to find out how you can get started today.


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    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      I am using actionvoip for international calls.

      Voted up.