Category: VOIP

New Technology For Older Generations

While I am a total technology geek who spends hours reading through all types of tech blogs and magazines, this knowledge that I gain is limited in who I can communicate it to. In fairness, who really wants to have in-depth conversation about the advantages of LTE vs 4G standards without falling asleep? Yes, there are plenty of my friends that love these conversations, but when I meet most of my family, especially the older generations I might as well be speaking to a wall.

When asked at those family events by aunts and uncles and grandparents how my work is going and what I do, most can understand that I like radio communications and work for a telecoms company. That’s probably as far as it goes.

DECT_6.0_LogoHowever, they somehow think that I just fix phone lines, rather than work on complex communications routing systems. If I even mention the word blog about comms technology the little understanding they may have is lost. Of course, very few of them use the Internet, and if they do it is for minimal news reading at best.

However, I recently tried a different approach to this, when my grandmother had a problem with her home phone system that was causing her understandable worries. She is no longer the most mobile person and requires a walking frame to get around the house. This is a common reality for many elderly people and she does count herself blessed that she can live on her own.

However, she is very reliant on her phone as it is the main way for her to contact family and friends in case of an emergency. Her old phone was a very reliable large button phone but it was wired. So she ended up having one of them in multiple rooms which must have been a nightmare when the whole house seemed to ring in multiple locations.

Anyway, one of these had broken down and this model was no longer available, so she was worried about getting a new one. I initially thought I could just pick up a standard cordless phone and she would be all sorted, but when I showed her the one I have, she was not happy with the display and button size.

So, I had to do some research and thankfully phoneforhome.com has an extensive section with recommendations of the best cordless phone for seniors and their individual merits. I was able to show her pictures of the cordless phone and she was happy that it would be large enough to use.

It’s now been 3 weeks since I installed it for her and she has already called me back to get rid of the old phones, which had to stay just in case she wasn’t happy.

So, even though my granny doesn’t fully understand what it is I do, we have been able to relate our passions and concerns on the basis of modern technology.

WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES

Wireless technologies have made significant progress in recent years, enabling many applications in addition to traditional voice communication with a mobile phone. 3G and transfer of data at high speeds have transformed the mobile telephone services and wireless services.

In this section, we look at the following wireless technologies:

3G:

3G stands for third generation mobile telephony. Mobile phones and equipment using the 3G wireless transmit and receive data much faster than second-generation systems, making possible many features and applications.

LTE super 3G:

Super 3G will be the next major evolution in the field of radio communications networks. Super 3G is a standard being finalized which is part of the future evolution of 3G. It includes a significant increase in the rate of transfer of data and better performance, which is a net progress in the field of mobile broadband.

WiMAX:

WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It is a telecommunications technology aimed at providing long range wireless data, and in various ways.

Wi-Fi:

Wi – Fi, short for Wireless Fidelity, is the term used to denote wireless broadband links over small distances between mobile computing devices such as laptops and the Internet.

Femtocells:

Femtocells are low power access points that allow combining mobile technologies and Internet inside the House. They work similar to a cordless phone.

Bluetooth:

5213ccb1757b7f4c568b4568Bluetooth wireless technology is a short-range radio technology that uses the radiofrequency fields to transmit signals over short distances between telephones, computers and other equipment. This technology simplifies communication and synchronization between devices, without using cables.

DECT:

DECT stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications, is a common standard for wireless phones. This is a radio technology suited for voice applications, data and applications of networks at home, at work, or in public environments. Many wireless phones used in homes are implementing DECT technology.

How The Information Age Has Changed The Way We Do Life

With the onset of the information age, the way how we do life has completely changed in so many different ways. It has changed the way we accomplish work and the way we communicate with each other on a whole. A few of the changes we’ve seen through out the information age are below.

Mobile Freedom

In the information age, the mobile phone has evolved. It once to be a huge bulky thing that would be quite heavy. However, we now have smart-phones that are as powerful as computers, and fit right inside of our pockets. The mobile phone alone has pushed the limits of productivity and has forced us to do more with our time. With smart-phones, we can answer client emails, create presentations and essays on the go.

Communication

The information age has also had a major impact on the ways we communicate with others. Time magazine actually found that we don’t talk anymore. Time is much more precious and talking on the phone is now seen as a way to waste someones time. Texting has made communication much more convenient. You can respond and answer to messages in the time you allot yourself to do so.

Sociability

Many years ago, it wasn’t un-common for people to setup mutliple social gatherings with their friends to go out and enjoy the outdoors. Today, kids spend much more time indoors than they did 10-15 years ago. This is because the rise of technology has given us the ability to enjoy our time much more indoors. There are video games, TV shows, Netflix, and many other ways we can enjoy our time indoors these days and kids are actually taking full advantage of this. This is also contributing to the rise in health issues across America because of the decline in physical activity among children and teenagers.

Digital Marketing

Marketing succeeds when it’s done in areas where people’s attention are grabbed. Today, everyone spends much more time on their mobile phones and social media. As a result, online and digital marketing has been on the steep incline. Jeremy, who works for Thunder Rank, an SEO Company in Toronto, predicts that “the same thing that happened with classified ads in newspapers will happen with TV ads. There will be a steep decline because that’s not where people’s attention are anymore.”

Work & Family Life

The information age has pushed the limits for everyone. Our life is so much faster and we’re expected to accomplish a lot more than we were 10-15 years ago. As a result, many people end up working long hours and miss out on their personal family life. However, on the other hand, technology has allowed many people to work remotely from home thus allowing them to spend much more time with their families. It’s actually very interesting because we find that in today’s era, there is very little middle ground between work and family life; it’s either your one of the two extremes.

Globalization

This is one of the greatest benefits of technology. With the rise if it, we can easily do business with and work with someone half way across the world. This allows many businesses to lower costs by taking advantage of the various exchange rates in other countries. Labor can be bought for less and it also opens the doors for many tech startups to do more with a smaller budget.

Privacy

With the rise of the information age, there’s no doubt that our overall privacy is compromised. A lot of our personal data is shared through the web with our smartphones and social media profiles. Information such as our location, friends, work life, and much more is all shared with major companies. In fact, Time magazine even states that Facebook may know more about you than your family does. With that being said, we should take precautions on the information we go about sharing online.

Setting Up A VOIP System Using A Standard Cordless Phone

One question I have often got from friends and family is about setting up VOIP and what kind of phone is needed. Many people have the misconception that they will have to buy a new IP phone and hook it up to expensive and difficult to configure systems before they can get going with VOIP. But this is far from my experiences with some of the latest technologies available. So there really is no need for you to be spending more money than necessary on your phone bills.

The first thing to note is that you can set up an inexpensive VOIP system and this will not require you to replace your existing phone, as long as it is a touch tone or digital phone. As long as you don’t have an old dial phone (apparently they still exist) you should be good to go.

VoIPBefore you go off and buy some random equipment I would suggest first checking some deals for broadband internet connection. Most people have their internet set up over the phone line, but this will most likely still mean that you have to pay for line rental. This is something you can avoid and it will save you a lot of money.

Two alternatives would be to check out any cable or wireless internet deals available in your area. Connection charges are usually very reasonable and you will not have to pay for line rental. Once you are all set up with your Internet connection you will be ready to go for the VOIP system.

First things first. Contact your internet provider and tell them that you want to set up a VOIP phone system, which will mean that they have to make some adjustments at their end to ensure that it works. Essentially you will be assigned a designated IP address so that all calls get routed to the right place.

The next thing you need is VOIP converter, which is a small box that is hooked up to your broadband router. Obi have a very reasonably priced system and for less than $40 you can be up and running. The settings are also quite easy to modify, so you will not need an IT degree to get going.

Next, you will need to sign up with a VOIP provider and there are literally dozens to choose from. Some offer better rates for cell phone calls, others are better for international calls, so it may take a little research to get the one that suits you. Once you have your account details you are ready to set up you VOIP box, which is a quick and simple process.

Finally the good part. You will only need to connect your cordless phone to the Obi device and you are ready to go. Of course it may make sense to upgrade your phone if you haven’t done so in a while and you will find some great advice about the best cordless phones currently available over at bestcordlessphoneguide.net. They have full reviews of some of the best cordless phone systems giving you a great deal of choice to suite your budget.

Once your cordless or corded phone is connected the Obi converter will essentially take over and your incoming calls will be forwarded to your home phone. Your VOIP provider will also supply you with a phone number that other people can dial in order to contact you, so to everyone including yourself, the whole system will work just like it did before.

This is the beauty of the modern and cheap setup available now. It is not some convoluted configuration that resembles a phone system, but rather is a simple device that mimics a system that has been around for decades.

I hope this article was helpful and I invite any comments below with your own experiences.

How To Integrate VOIP At Home

Until just a few years ago, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), was an expensive technology that wasn’t readily accessible to the average home user. There were different services like Skype that work on the same principle, but this left people using their computer and just a handful of handsets that were compatible.

Anyway, enough about the past. As with all technology, VOIP has advanced and it is now fully available for home users and also at a very reasonable price. If you are like me then having a home phone is still something that has importance. My cell phone gets used a lot, but for work and private reasons I like to have a phone line that is more reliable than the periodic problems with cell phone reception. It can be both annoying and costly when I encounter bad phone reception, so when it is important I prefer using a more traditional phone.

voipAll you essentially need is:

1)   Broadband Internet connection

2)   VOIP adapter

3)   Standard corded or cordless phone

It really is that simple and all of the above are available to the average home user. Until recently it was item number two that was still prohibitively expensive, but this has drastically changed. One device that I have set up for several friends and family is the entry level one from OBiHai, which essentially is a small box that plugs directly into your broadband router.

Once connected, all you need to do is set up an account with one of the countless VOIP providers, including Google Voice. Those account details are then entered in the Obi software and then all you need to do is connect your phone.

And this is where the great advantage comes; you do not need a new phone as long as your existing one is a touch tone one. A decent cordless phone will put you back les than $30 these days, so there are loads of options.

The big savings come in two ways. Firstly you no longer need to pay for phone line rental, which is often ridiculously expensive. Secondly, with the vast selection of VOIP providers you will be spoiled for choice. Some are cheaper for cell phone calls, others for long distance. The only tricky thing will be figuring out which ones best suit you. But even this is simple enough by using online material and to just test them out. The majority do not have a minimum contract period.

As mentioned in a previous post I have been involved in a project for a rural community that involved setting up wireless, radio based broadband connection. This is possible no matter where you live and in urban environments 3G or 4G are some of the best options. You can simply piggyback your phone system over this, but do keep an eye on any data usage restrictions.

I will be posting more about these communications and data solutions with some very specific ideas and setup instructions.