This is pretty sweet. Voice over IP has started to upswing again, not the least of which is for the simple reason that it's starting to be cheaper than the Bells.
To understand VoIP, you have to get the basic premise that there's got to be some point where voice, a naturally analog data source, gets translated into computer data, a digital data type. Whether this occurs when you're on your computer, or using some other device, just really depends.
A lot of systems, like Vonage provide boxes which digitize your phone calls, as well as route those calls to the appropriate places. You don't need your computer on for these.
Both of the above have some problems. First, you need to have a form of broadband and power both going to make a phone call -- no phone calls during an outage of either. Second, making 911 calls are either impossible (Skype, most VoIP providers) or don't contain location (Vonage). And finally, if you have DSL, most of the Bells practically require you to keep your POTS -- your regular phone line (I kid you not, the official terminology for your regular phone line is POTS -- plain old telephone service.)
The link above is to a device which takes in not only Ethernet for VoIP, but also a POTS line. This means that you can do the following:
Talk about neat.Posted by Ted Stevko at October 29, 2004 01:21 AM | TrackBack