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What is PC to Phone VoIP?

PC to Phone (PC-Phone) VoIP technology refers to using your Internet-connected computer to make voice conversations to virtually any conventional telephone in the world (cellular, land-line, sat phone, etc.). Why? Because by doing so, you pay only a fraction of what the traditional telephone companies charge for similar services (i.e., Phone to Phone). Regardless of whether you access the Internet through a high speed connection (such as cable or ADSL) or through a conventional dial-up connection, PC-Phone technology can save you a significant amount of money on your long-distance telephone calls.

If you watch the news, chances are that you've heard of an emerging technology commonly referred to as Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP for short. As the term implies, VoIP enables us to have voice conversations over the Internet in fashion similar to a telephone call.

Whereas traditional telephone calls take place over fixed line 'circuit switched' networks, VoIP calls are routed through the Internet in a method known as 'packet switching'. Essentially, packet switching of voice transmissions enables the carriage of multiple conversations using the same amount of bandwidth that a typical 'circuit switched' call would use.

In a typical PC to Phone call, voice input is received by your personal computer (using a microphone), translated into a data 'packet', then routed from your computer through the Internet to as close as possible to the destination you are trying to call. Once your 'packet' of data reaches the destination locality, it is switched back to the local 'traditional' telephone network and routed to the telephone of the person whom you are calling. Routing and switching of your PC to Phone call takes place transparently and quickly. In fact, the chances are high that the person whom you are calling would have no idea that you are talking to them using your computer as the voice quality and data transmission times are very similar to those achieved by circuit switched networks.

The ramifications of VoIP are tremendous. By using the Internet to carry your voice conversations, long-distance telephone charges are all but eliminated. Traditional telephone companies have much to fear from this technology as customers will no longer be 'tied' to using their services for both local and long-distance calling.

The terrific news is that you can start making calls using VoIP technology literally minutes from now. Simply choose a service provider and download the providers' softphone application (A 'softphone' or 'softfone' is a small interface program which runs on your computer and typically resembles the keypad on a conventional telephone). Once you've installed the softphone, you'll need to add funds to your PC to Phone account and then you can start making PC to Phone voice calls.


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