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.

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