Thursday, July 5, 2007

VOIP and VOIP ATA

VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is the service including any sound communication over the internet. What we have been mostly familiar with are SKYPE, MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger, Google talk. All these services have allowed us to talk over the internet, basically a communication from one computer to another computer. All of these are different software clients, which we might have to install a small program on our computer to be able to talk. What these softwares do, is basically converting your voice to digital signals and sending to the internet, at the same time, converting the received signals to voice in your speaker.

The VOIP ATA (analog telephone adapter) phone I am talking about, uses a hardware - the VOIP router. What the router does, is exactly the same as what the software chatting clients do: converting signals to support the internet talking. When using the software, we know we have to turn on the computer and lauch the program. However this hardware router, we can just keep it connected with the internet. If there is no power cut or network problems, the hardware will be all the time ready to send or receive signals to enable a phone call. Here is a picture of our router:
In US, i think most people have heard about Vonage, the internet phone. This company has spent a lot of money on advertisement. What it has done, is some more development based on this kind of hardware router. It also made the 911 calls possible, and providing you a local number. The final service is more than 20 dollars per months i believe. They lock the hardware in their own service. So when you look for a voip router, remember to buy one that is not locked to any internet phone services. You want to have an open router that you have the full freedom to configure.

With this critical hardware, the internet connection, and the regular telephones, till now we have collected all necessary hardwares to set up the VOIP ATA for phone calls. However, the critical part is still ahead, the configuration of the ATA is the key.

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