One method of trying to save on your mobile phone or landline bills is to use an alternative method to communicate with people. The internet is a great way of contacting people quickly, provided you have installed the right programs and you use broadband internet, and the other party you are trying to contact have exactly the same setup as you on their computer. VoIP phones (Voce over Internet Protocol) have been around for many years, providing a very cheap alternative to using normal telephones.
Using VoIP phones can be free if you are calling from PC to PC; as long as both parties have added you on their profile account. It is as simple as downloading it onto your PC, setting up an account and adding people onto your profile - much like using MSN messenger. Internet bandwidths have improved massively, making the connection between the calls quicker and the sound quality much clearer - this is why it is now comparable to normal telephoning methods.
In the past when more people had narrow band (dial-up internet connection) internet connectivity there were more problems in sound quality, with the connection timing out and making it near impossible to call people via the internet.
Sending messages across using messenger programs were much slower and often not received by the other party. With broadband connection, you are instantly connected to the internet as soon as you turn your PC or laptop on. VoIP phones help making calls across the globe much cheaper too. Normal telephony services charge a great deal of money to make a call outside of the local area.
This becomes even more expensive when using a mobile phone, making it difficult for people to make regular calls to family or friends abroad, without having to worry about breaking the bank! VoIP phones are much more reliable, affordable and normally have good sound quality. The VoIP software service providers are available to download from the internet, with the biggest programs being Skype, Google Talk and Babble.
These are relatively new on many desktop computers; however, they are far from being a new piece of technology and have been in development since 1973 since the very early stages of the internet. Transmitting conversations over the internet have been available for end-users since the early 1980s.
In 1993, a shrink wrapped software by VoiceTec was released with features such as voice mail and caller ID, however, this did not take off as well as only VoiceTec users were able to contact other VoiceTec users. It would not be until 1997 that a softswitch was developed, opening more gateways between telephones, making it possible to call up other landline phones from the PC. Calling up across the globe using VoIP phones is an extremely cheap way of sending information across, without having to rack up the price of your bill at the end of the month.
It is important that the user has a broadband connection; otherwise, their internet telephony will not provide good sound quality...