Let’s have a more precise look on how does VoIP work and what are the VoIP companies offer the customers.
A step up from computer-to-computer telephony is calling regular landline or cellular phones from your computer. Usually, the same software package that allows you to make PC-to-PC calls allows you to call to the regular phone networks at a small charge.
Before making this type of call you need to fill your account with credits. Most VoIP companies allow you to add credit to your credit card or a payment system like PayPal.
To call a landline or cellular phone from your computer just dial the number. Software like Skype and Gizmo have onscreen keypads that you can use with a mouse or you can use the keypad on your computer keyboard or Internet phone. Don’t forget to include the area code or country code if you’re calling long distance.
A ‘gateway’ makes the connection between the Internet and PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). Because gateways can be situated locally the costs associated with long-distance phone calls are minimized. In fact, the cost may be the same whether you are calling locally or across the globe.
Gateways have been used for quite a number of years to provide low-cost long-distance calls. You may belong to a plan which offers tremendous savings over the long-distance rates of your local phone company. Companies which offer these low long-distance rates are using Internet telephony. Because their costs are so much lower, they can pass the savings on to the consumer. By making computer-to-telephone calls you are using the same technology as these long-distance phone companies.
Computer-to-telephone is fine for making outgoing calls, but what do you do if you want to receive calls at your computer? Once again, the latest technology comes to your rescue.
Some VoIP service companies can provide you with an incoming phone number in a particular city. When someone dials that number the call will be routed to your location, no matter where in the world you are. The cost of the call is the same as a regular call to the city your number is located in.
As an example, if your incoming telephone number is based in New York City and your friend calls you from New York, it will be treated as a local call even if you are in Hong Kong at the time. However, somebody calling from Los Angeles will have to pay the long-distance charges that apply to any regular call from Los Angeles to New York.
These local phone numbers are available in a number of cities in North America and also in Europe and Asia depending on the VoIP provider. It makes sense to choose a local location where most of your incoming calls are originating from to allow people to call you at a minimum expense.
You can receive calls anywhere in the world where a broadband Internet connection is available. Simply login to your account to make and receive calls from your laptop or an Internet café using a headset or Internet telephone. Some VoIP software even allows you to use a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) as a telephone.