What is it?<br />Voice over Internet Protocol<br />What does it do?<br /><ul><li>Officially- It delivers a voice communication and multimedia session over Internet Protocol (IP)
Basically – It lets you talk to people over the internet</li></ul>How does it work?<br /><ul><li>VoIP technology uses a broadband Internet connection to make phone calls rather than a conventional phone line.
It does this by converting your voice signal into a digital signal.</li></li></ul><li>The facts and figures…<br />It was first offered to consumers in 1995.<br />VoIP has become one of the world's most widely used telephony products.<br />Current estimates put the number of VoIP users at over five million.<br />Many VoIP services are available for as little as £11 a month but these do have some important constraints.<br />What do you need?<br /><ul><li>VoIP can be used in 3 ways : via a regular phone or adaptor</li></ul> via a special Internet phone<br /> by downloading software and using your computer<br /><ul><li>So you need a good internet connection.</li></li></ul><li>A little diagram…<br />
Why is it so cheap?<br />VoIP calls are just another application riding over the Internet.<br />Basically the same as sending an email or instant message which all can be distributed for free between Internet-connected machines.<br />This can be a computer or a mobile phone. <br />What are the negatives?<br /><ul><li>One of the biggest drawbacks of VoIP technology is that there is a minor glitch, which as a result means that not all VoIP providers have the ability to register their address and number with the emergency services.
This means that if the emergency services were contacted using a VoIP system and the caller was unable to tell the operator their location help would be unable to reach them because they would not know where to go.</li></li></ul><li>Any more negatives?<br />Security risks and worries are becoming increasingly prominent where VoIP is concerned.<br />In its early days people were not highly concerned about security issues as they were mainly focusing on its functionality, reliability and most importantly its cost. <br />Fraudsters are now turning to VoIP as a tool to gain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details. This is known as Vishing, or VoIP Phishing. <br />Just like regular phishing a party calls faking to be trustworthy organisation such as your bank and request confidential and often critical information. <br />This is becoming an increased risk as VoIP starts to become more commonplace within society, however this sort of criminal process can take place via regular phone lines, mobile phone lines and email so is not an isolated issue simple involving VoIP technology. <br />
How can it be used in business?<br />Because of it’s efficiency and cost effective method VoIP can be used in a business environment as a conferencing tool. <br />As of 2007 it was reported that 20% of businesses in the US already used VoIP. <br />VoIP allows business professionals all over the world to connect with each other using their existing phone line, whereas state-of-the-art conferencing equipment can be expensive.<br />There is a down side…<br /><ul><li>If a business or individual is switching to VoIP from a regular phone line they will most probably not be able to keep their phone number.
It’s not impossible but unlikely, as most VoIP providers do not have the ability to provide local numbers and therefore cannot allow a user to keep their old number which can be important to major business. </li></li></ul><li>It can be used in the media too…<br />VoIP can be used to record phone calls.<br />Which means that it can be applied in the radio industry to record telephone interviews. <br />How can it be used in everyday life?<br /><ul><li>Skype is the most well-known computer application that uses VoIP technology
It allows users to make calls over the Internet.
Calls can be made to traditional landlines and mobiles at a fee but all calls made to other users within the Skype network are free.
Skype has become so popular because it allows users to take advantage of the additional features, such as instant messaging, file transfer and video conferencing.
Skype uses a proprietary Internet telephony (VoIP) network, called the Skype protocol. </li></li></ul><li>Anything else?<br />Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service.<br /> This means that it allows users to talk to other gamers all other the world using VoIP technology.<br />This can be in a party of up to 16 at a time or one on one.<br />It is operated by Microsoft Corporation and has been running since 2002. <br />It is considered a way of enhancing gaming.<br />It makes the company A LOT of money!<br />For 12 months it costs £39.99.<br />You can also choose a 3 month package for £14.99 or a month for £4.99<br />
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