Internet calling has revolutionized the way we communicate and the way we do business. In just a few short years it has become the preferred method of communication for millions of people worldwide for a whole variety of reasons.
Internet calling, also known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), allows people to make voice calls to each other over the internet, usually using their computers. All that is needed is a relatively modern PC, a fast internet connection and it is possible to communicate with people from all over the world for absolutely free.
It is possible to use a conventional phone to make internet calls but most people use a headset or a special USB phone that plugs into their computer. There are hundreds of products available for internet calling ranging from simple headsets that plug into your computer’s microphone and earphone jacks to specially made internet calling phones that plug into your computer’s USB port.
The most basic headsets will cost only a few dollars with more sophisticated models costing anywhere up to $100. USB internet calling phones can be had for as little as $20, but can cost a few hundred dollars for top of the range models.
For individuals, the main advantage of internet calling is that it can be done for free, or for a very low cost. Skype is by far the most popular internet calling service available at the moment. Download this from www.skype.com and register an account for free and you will be able to call other Skype users, no matter what their location, for no cost.
It is also possible to use internet calling to call conventional telephones and cell phones. This will set you back a bit, but costs are really very low. For example, Skype will allow you to call conventional telephones in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and many other parts of the world for just a couple of cents a minute. Calls to countries in places like Africa and calls to cell phones are more expensive but still represent great value for money.
Over the past few years, internet calling has developed into much more than just a means of making voice calls. Services like Skype now offer all kinds of extra features that really makes internet calling an excellent form of communication.
For example, with Skype you can rent a conventional telephone number in your area that allows people to make calls straight to your computer from conventional telephones. This number acts just the same as a normal telephone number so people calling you from your local area will just pay local call charges. Other features of internet calling include video calls, live chat, sms messaging, call recording and a lot more. Bear in mind that while Skype is the most popular internet calling service today it is not the only one, so be sure to have a look around to see what is out there both in terms of value for money and features.
Internet Calling for Business
Internet calling offers a wide range of new opportunities for business. Perhaps chief among these are web audio and video conferencing. Whereas in the past businesses had to fork out top dollar for conferencing services, perfectly good conferences can now be arranged for little or no cost. In fact, web conferencing offers many extra benefits as files can be shared and presentations can be made online that all participants can use and see.
Basically, all that participants need is a computer made in the last three or four years and a microphone and speakers, or a headset to talk and listen. For small conferences services like Skype should be perfectly adequate allowing nine people to audio or video conference at once. If needs be, participants can join the conference using traditional telephones.
For businesses with higher budgets and more sophisticated needs there are plenty of web conferencing services providing facilities for larger conferences and state of the art equipment.
There are many advantages to internet calling for business. By switching to internet calling and web conferencing a business can save a lot of money. First it can save money on call costs while web conferencing cuts out the need for expensive business trips and the loss in productivity associated with them. The real beauty is that business can communicate with colleagues and clients anywhere in the the world at any time.
There is little doubt that internet calling is the way of the future, and those who have not already embraced it soon will. And as the technology improves and more people get access to high speed internet worldwide the quality and features are only going to improve.
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