This is a basic voip setup guide aimed at helping ESL teachers select and use VOIP for online tutoring. Before we discuss the technical aspects of VOIP technology, its important to understand the essential parts that make up a complete VOIP system. There are four fundamental components to a complete system:
1. Broadband Internet connection
Although free VOIP providers claim to run on dial-up connection, VOIP runs best on fast broadband connection cable, satellite or DSL (DSL is a generic term for digital subscriber line, for home users it's more specifically known as ADSL). The ideal minmum ADSL bandwidth needed for internet telephony on is 512kbps/128 kbps or higher. This speed is fast enough to sustain a normal conversation and allows the user to browse the internet at the same time. During the installation process, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will also supply a separate modem. The modem makes the communication process possible between your computer and the internet.
2. Subscription to a VOIP provider
A VOIP provider is a telecommunications company that handles the connections from the internet to a PSTN telephone line (Public Switch Telephone Network). Most VOIP providers either offer free or paid subscription and allow you to make free calls to a VOIP phone, or cheap calls internationally to a regular phone. Check our comprehensive review: Comparison of Free VOIP Providers and the Comparison of Paid VOIP Providers.
3. VOIP Audio Input Device
VOIP input devices aids in converting your voice into digital signals that is than sent over the internet and received by a regular phone, VOIP phone or PC. Choosing the correct technology can be quite overwhelming for first time users. We have tried to simpify this process by dividing popular VOIP solutions into two basic categorys - basic and advance VOIP Setup.
Basic VOIP Setup
The Basic VOIP Setup section covers inexpensive and non-technical solutions to using VOIP. These solutions are ideal for beginner users and covers making PC-to-PC calls, or using a headset and USB phone.
Advance VOIP Setup
This section covers special phones and routers specially designed to make VOIP calls over the internet. The Advance VOIP Setup section does not require a higher degree of technical expertise. It is an ideal solution if you have had some experience in making VOIP calls, or if you want the best equipment that produces the highest possible voice quality.
A computer may or may not be needed. Some internet telephony solutions can work as independent units. However most telephony solutions require a PC to help in the initial configuration process.
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