The Internet has brought in many revolutionary products and services that are continually changing the way we communicate. One of these is VoIP, which lets users communicate through the Internet. Many VoIP providers also let you call traditional telephone systems through a VoIP to PSTN interfacing. VoIP is a good alternative to traditional public switched telephone networks, without the high costs associated with long distance calls. With a VoIP service, your calls are routed over a high-speed broadband connection. You can even setup your own phone system at home or your office. The advantage with VoIP is that you are not geographically limited. You can plug in your telephone unit anywhere with a broadband connection, and you will have the same number.
- Decide on which VoIP provider you are going to use. These services will convert signals from the public switched telephone network, which are analog, into digital through a broadband connection. Different service providers might give you varied feature sets and prices
- Disconnect the PSTN’s cabling from your home’s telephone system. You can do this by finding the cable box in the outside of your house. Unclip the box and remove the wiring from the mains.
- Check if the line from the PSTN is no longer working before continuing to work on your VoIP installation. Plug in a telephone receiver to the box and pick up the handset. You should not get a dial tone, nor should you hear any static. If there is still a dial tone, then you will need to recheck your wirings to confirm if the cables are actually disconnected. If the problem persists, you may have to call a professional lineman or telephone technician to kill your line.
- Connect the VoIP adapter to your cable modem or DSL modem.
- Plug in your telephone to the jack on the VoIP adapter.
- If you have any other home phone units, connect these to the remaining jacks at home.
- Test the line Try to listen in for a dial tone. If there is no tone, you will need to ensure the connections are secure between the adapter, jack, modem and the telephone line. When you get a dial tone, try calling a known number to test your VoIP network’s capability.
One word of warning, though. Don’t connect your VoIP adaptor directly with the public switched telephone system. This might damage your VoIP system, and can even cause damage to the phone company’s circuitry.
You have a variety of choices when it comes to VoIP providers. The most popular among software is Asterisk, which will require you to install the service onto a Linux box. Asterisk is best used by small businesses and even bigger enterprises that have a large communication requirement.
However, there are other services that you can try that will not require much setup. Skype will work with a Smartphone, such as the iPhone or a Windows mobile powered phone, though, so you have more flexibility when it comes to making the service work with different devices.
If you prefer a VoIP service that doesn’t run through your home telephone lines, you can try Skype, which offers unlimited plans and even a direct dial inbound number. Your only limitation, though, is that you need a computer connected to the Internet for the service to work.