View Full Version : VoIP

13-01-2005, 13:52:14
OK I've been aware of the term "Voice over IP" for some while now, but not taken a great deal of notice of it. So * shrug * they can package up any data and send it across, so what ?

But what brings it to mind is the fact that I've been looking at wireless modem/routers to allow all my PCs to get the the Net without me having to swop the cable/modem over. And I've just noticed that the item I'm considering states that it has no VoIP port.

A separate port ? Oh. Well what's that used for then ? Can you not pass voice over the Net without one ? No can't be, there's loads of "telephone" system apps out there trying to undercut the telcos. So how does a VoIP port fit in ?

If I buy a router/modem without one will I be cut off from all future developments re telecoms over the Net ? Or will it make no difference to a domestic user ?

Not that I'm desperate to pass my voice over the Net, but I'd hate to not have it and then find I really wanted it.

Can anyone fill in the details on how it is used and whether it is any use to the normal domestic Web Surfer ?


13-01-2005, 14:46:53
I think it's silly to worry about a technology you aren't going to use. Unless you forsee yourself making many international phone calls...it ain't for you.

Hard to say how it's used since each country regulates it differently. Here you sign up with a VoIP carrier like Vonnage for $40 a month or so.

If it becomes necessary for future telcom development, the telcoms will make sure you can connect and probably will include a router or something in the price of the service

13-01-2005, 15:09:03

How would I know I 'm not going to use it until I know more about it's functionality ? It's futureproofing my potential purchase I'm interested in. It'd be sad to buy a modem/router now, only to have to replace it, or go without, at a later date.

I assumed VoIP was something the ISP did, rather than the end user. Now it seems I made a wrong assumption. But I still only have one modem connection out to the world, don't I ? Is this VoIP port a physical port you can plug into, or one of these software things that I get more confused about ?

Would one not use VoIP on a national call ? I do know of folk on foreign shores but one reason I don't even think of calling is the cost. Maybe that'd change with a Net alternative.

What about free call providers, like Skype ? Is that a different subject ?

13-01-2005, 15:52:07
Yup...thats more a p2p kinda thing, Skype that is.

And there is no future proofing in technology.

Read up on VoIP here


13-01-2005, 16:12:12
And yes technically Skype IS VoIP it just isn't the same as the other. The one with the port on the modem /router is for your analog phone. I don't even know if there are non business services available in the UK for it yet.

I still think its silly to try to futureproof technolgy. I know of a person that went to great expense to wire his house for ethernet but wasn't planning to network his computers. He put in cat5 wires...anyone wanting a fast home network would put in cat6 and most people would just do wireless. As a home improvement investment it was lame.

13-01-2005, 16:19:40
Thanks. that's useful, although you can't ask a question of a website and expect a response like you can another person though :)

Still I'm getting the impression that a VoIP port might just be a socket you can plug a phone/adapter into, rather than another output port to the Internet, which was what I first envisaged when I saw a reference to one.

Can anyone confirm or deny that understanding ?

If true, then the PC might just be able to provide that sort of input anyway, without the need for a seperate input. (Although the phone line would cease to be usable if the PC were not kept on all the time.)

The minimum system requirements for using iConnectHere's PC-to-Phone:

Pentium 266 MHz PC or higher (not available with Macintosh)
Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME/XP
Windows-compatible full duplex sound card
Microphone and speakers, or head/handset
Internet TCP/IP connection.
Modem Speed of 33.6 Kbps (For improved sound quality we recommend 64 Kbps or higher)
iConnectHere's PC-to-Phone dialer.
Internet explorer 5.5 for full website cpabilities.


13-01-2005, 16:30:52
Internet telephony is not the same as VoIP. Skype uses your internet connection to call to someone elses skype application.
But you don't need any extra sockets if you want to use VoIP. At home my cablemodem now also acts like the phone adapter, so I'm calling via my cable. So i've abandoned my normal landline. The broadband modem connects to my telephone connection, where I just plug in my normal phone.

13-01-2005, 16:47:41
Originally posted by Gary

Still I'm getting the impression that a VoIP port might just be a socket you can plug a phone/adapter into


13-01-2005, 18:01:27
Thanks both. I think that covers all I needed to know (I hope).

A VoIP port is a "nice to have" thing, but hardly worth being too concerned about.

And one can use the Net for telephony without actually using VoIP. :)

13-01-2005, 18:16:27
Technically no...using the net for telephony IS VoIP...ie a protocol for taking voice packets and reassembling them at the destination.
You just don't have to have the port to do so. The big phone companies are already doing that with some of the data for our calls and you just don't know it.