A N@wie sis was once curious and floated the following questions:
What exactly is voip? I want to know its advantages and disadvantages over regular phone calls (idd) and cell? Is it really cheaper? Like how much for the minute? Does anyone own a usb or wifi phone? Thanks!
This was my husband's reply:
VoIP is an acronym for Voice over IP. Simply put it is voice calls running through data network such as the internet (this is a generalization - the proper term is internet call, VoIP is
technically associated with intranet or private networks). It is supposed to be cheaper because we already have the internet setup, so basically they use the resources of the internet to place your call. Advantage is it is supposed to be cheaper. Disadvantage is that the voice calls placed are prone to the same problems
encountered when you surf the net. What you may experience as slow internet browsing can be translated in VoIP call as delayed voice, choppy voice, low-quality voice calls, etc.
Now for Internet Voice services and VOIP access, there are several services in the net available but the basic / most common services that these companies offer are as such.
One of the most famous internet call service out there is SKYPE which has support to both software and hardware. When you place an internet call from one SKYPE subscriber to another
SKYPE subscriber via either their software or hardware that is compatible with their service, it is usually free. But if you place a call from your SKYPE call software / hardware to a landline or mobile then there would be a charge. And the same is true with a landline or mobile calling that internet phone number / hardware.
Subscription to skype is free but if you want to place calls to landline / mobile / place long distance calls then if I am not mistaken there are options for pre-paid or post paid services (similar to your mobile subscription).
Simply put, yes? :)
By the way, YM is another popular example (when it's used to call mobiles or landlines using the PC).
Other sites offering the service (with positive feedbacks from happy clients) include Vonage and Sunrocket.