Internet telephony provides a wide spectrum of digital communication services including voice, SMS, video, as well as fax transmissions by using the Internet Protocol (IP) networks rather than traditional telephone lines as the transmission channel. You will find various other names associated with internet telephony such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Voice over Broadband (VoBB), IP Telephony, etc, although there are some distinctions between them. There are numerous methods to use Internet Telephony in our day to day lives. The requirements on software or hardware components may differ. Let us now explore some basic ways in which Internet Telephony services are used.
Computer to Computer
Internet Telephony offers real-time interface that allows users communicating with their computers. It has the facility for users to see each others through webcam while talking on microphones which are often in-built or plugged-in into the computer systems. There are also various software programs or applications such as Skype, Gtalk, or AOL Instant Messengers, etc, providing real time and free voice or video calls over the Internet.
Computer to Phone
Dialing a phone number from a personal computer is made possible through internet telephony programs such as Skype. The dialers will have to use their computer microphone while calling to a person using telephone or mobile phone. These services may charge some small amount of money to the users.
Computer to Fax
Using Internet telephony, faxes may also be sent with full compatibility from a personal computer to a regular fax machine. User might face some minor technical glitches because fax has a different data type as compared to voice. Such difficulties may easily be fixed by slowing the fax baud rate or changing your VoIP device codec.
Phone to Phone
The phone to phone services are also available through Internet telephony where the users have to pay a small fee on monthly basis. To access this service, a device called internet phone adapter has to be plugged into your internet router. Then, you need to plug-in your phone to the adapter and can start using phone to phone services.
Mobile Phone to Computer or Phone
Today, Wi-Fi service is usually available to smartphones that provide greater speed and flexibility in media transmission services. There are various mobile apps which uses the built-in microphone and camera of your smartphone while allowing you to make calls to computer for free or to phone for a very small amount.
The requirements for using internet telephony services are: internet connection plus a PC or a laptop or a smartphone. Low cost, portability, video transmission facility, etc, are some of the major benefits of internet telephony. Computer to computer calling service is usually free of cost whereas a very small amount is charged for computer to phone transmissions. More innovation and leading-edge internet telephony services are greatly anticipated on the business front in the coming years.