June 7, 2005
Dear CNET members,
Voice over IP (VoIP) is currently the talk of the town. If you aren't aware of what it is, VoIP is a phone service that uses the Internet instead of old-fashioned landlines to send voice. If you already have cable modem or DSL service, you're halfway there. All you need in addition is service from a VoIP provider and a telephony adapter (usually provided by the service provider) to plug your current telephones into, then you're good to go--pick up your phone and start dialing as you would normally. There are many additional aspects to VoIP, such as calling through your computer to other PCs within the same network of service, thus bypassing the traditional telephone system completely. So what's the big deal about VoIP, you ask? The bottom line is saving money! For about 20 bucks, you can call all you want to anyone in the States, and international calls can cost as little as 3 cents per minute. That's huge savings if you're a heavy long-distance dialer. But is VoIP really ready for prime time? You hear about all the cost savings, but does quality of service suffer? What about phone number assignment or 911 calling? I know you have a lot to say about this new method of calling, but before you take on TalkBack to tell us what you think, read editor Molly Wood's article "VoIP: what is it good for?" and check what others have to say about it. Maybe VoIP is the service you been looking for all along, or maybe it isn't. Is VoIP the future or just a stepping-stone? Chime in and voice your opinion on VoIP!
This week's hot topic:
VoIP (Voice over IP)
You had lots to say after reading the latest AnchorDesk column, which discusses the pros and cons of using Web-based phones. Here are some of the more interesting opinions you gave.
Still not for everyone
Though CNET member photog_7 is a fan of VoIP, he's quick to point out that it might not be right for everyone. Depending on your location, you may not be able to use a local number, and overall voice quality can suffer.
Read photog_7's full post in CNET TalkBack
Perfect for business use
This member's Asia-based company began using VoIP for all of its international calls and has seen its bill drop to a fraction of what it once was. The company was so impressed, it started sending VoIP setups for all its big clients.
Read Asiated's full post in CNET TalkBack
Playing hard to get
Though many of you posted your desire to have one phone number for everything (VoIP, cell, and home phone), CNET member beelissa notes that having different numbers can actually be helpful for weeding out unwanted callers.
Read beelissa's full post in CNET TalkBack
What's your take on Voice over IP calling? Does it work for you? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Read "VoIP: what is it good for?," and speak up in TalkBack.
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