How VOIP Works
To use VOIP technology, you need only one of the following three pieces of equipment:
(1) a traditional telephone linked to the Internet,
(2) a specialized Internet phone, or
(3) a microphone and speakers on your PC
Once you have connected one of these to your computer and downloaded the software, you are ready to make a phone call over the Internet. Simply place and receive calls as usual.
Once you have connected one of these to your computer and downloaded the software, you are ready to make a phone call over the Internet. VOIP technology works by converting your voice into small packets of digitized sounds and sending it down the line to the receiver. On the other end, the packets are converted back into understandable language. All this happens in a matter of seconds.
It is possible to purchase something called a VOIP "black box" that plugs your phone directly into the Internet. Think of these as one of your old cable converter boxes that allowed you to receive cable television. Those converters were eventually replaced by cable-ready VCRs and direct cable connections. VOIP will most likely experience the same improvements in the ways services are offered to the consumer.