What Else Do You Need

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To make VOIP internet phone calls you require the following:

Broadband Connection

First and foremost you need a fast internet connection. By fast I mean broadband - either ADSL, Cable or Satellite. Dial up connections are usually not fast enough to sustain a decent conversation.

 

Voice Input Device

Next you need a means of getting your voice onto the web. There are quite a few options including an IP Phone, USB Phone, Headset with microphone, stand alone microphone and speakers or your ordinary phone in conjunction with an ATA - Analog To digital Adapter.

 

Computer

Normally you require a computer to make calls but some IPSPs provide a service where a computer is not necessary (see Astratel). These services connect your phone to a modem and then to the internet cutting out the requirement to use a computer or have the computer turned on (if you have one).

 

Internet Phone Service Provider (IPSP)

To make calls to an ordinary phone you will need an IPSP. IPSPs make the connection from the internet to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network - ordinary phone line system). There is a wide choice of IPSPs and you should peruse the table on the home page to work out which one suits you. For example there are timed calls and flat rate calls and there are unlimited call plans and pay as you go plans. You may wish to cut down on your STD bill by selecting a plan that charges a flat 10c per call to another capital city!

If you only wish to talk to another person online then you may only need the software provided by the IPSP. Most IPSPs provide this service free but both you and the person you are calling must be online and have the same software program.

 

Software

All methods of making an internet call require the use of a software program. Most companies provide this program free of charge when you sign up for their service. There are quite a few programs available and some you can download and try out for free. You can get a friend to download the same program and call you online to see how it works. Usually online to online calls are free. An example of this is Freshtel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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