What Kind of Internet Service Is Needed for VoIP?:
VoIP service providers normally offer their solutions over DSL or cable modem Internet only. VoIP service sometimes works poorly over satellite, dial-up and other forms of Internet access, although these options are sometimes available. Typical VoIP calls require about 90 Kbps for best quality.
How Much Does VoIP Service Cost?:
VoIP service can cost less than ordinary residential phone service. Actual costs depend on the calling features and service plans chosen. Those who get VoIP service from the same company that providers their broadband Internet service, typically get the best deals.
Is VoIP Service Reliable?:
VoIP service is probably less reliable than ordinary phone service as VoIP is a relatively new technology. Network reliability varies with the VoIP service provider. As with cordless phones, VoIP phones fail when there is a power outage at the residence. To maximize the reliability of VoIP (and Internet) service, consider installing a Universal Power Supply (UPS) battery backup system for your whole network.
Is VoIP Service Secure?:
VoIP phone service may be less secure than ordinary phone service. Traditional phone lines can be wiretapped, but this requires physical access and installation effort. VoIP communications, on the other hand, can be snooped over the Internet electronically. Likewise, network attackers can disrupt your calls by interfering with the flow of data packets. Ensure home network security systems are in place to minimize security concerns with VoIP.
How Good Is the Sound Fidelity of VoIP Service?:
Very good. So good, in fact, that some VoIP service providers must actually inject special sounds (called "comfort noise") into the transmission, so that callers don't mistakenly think the connection is dead.
Does Subscribing to VoIP Service Require Changing Phone Numbers?:
No. VoIP supports phone number portability. Those switching from ordinary telephone service to VoIP service, can normally keep their same number. Note, however, that VoIP providers are normally not the ones responsible for switching your old phone number over to their service. Check with your local phone company as some may not support a number transfer.
Are Emergency Numbers Accessible With VoIP Service?:
Yes. Emergency services (like 911 in the USA, 112 for the European Union, etc.) should be supported by any major VoIP service provider.