Member Since: 29th Dec 2005
5th Nov 2015
VoIP pros and cons
VoIP should be far, far cheaper than traditional phone lines (TDM or ISDN). Most people in my experience also find VoIP quality is very good (I certainly do). Issues with call quality, as mentioned by Alonicus above, are far more likely to be due to equipment / headsets / handsets at either end than the connection itself. That said, you do need to have a broadband connection which is fast enough to handle your calls and ordinary internet traffic. Call quality may suffer if your network becomes overloaded. With superfast broadband, you should not have any problem unless you are sending some really heavy traffic which hogs most or all your bandwidth (difficult to know what that might be unless you are running a film streaming business...). There are said (by traditional comms engineers) to be some detailed tech issues which can cause the time lag or some other problems on VoIP conference calls, but I've never experienced them. VoIP supports far more features than traditional phones in routing and re-routing calls, handling voicemail etc. etc. All the ones I need are free in the basic package from my provider (Vonage). One I particularly like is having voicemails transcribed into text and sent to me by e-mail as they arrive. You can think of VoIP as a system that can support a variety of applications. No doubt some more exotic features may attract a charge or may be in more expensive packages, but you need only take these if you want them.
It is true that if your internet goes down then you also lose your phone connection - but that should only happen very infrequently, and the obvious solution then is to use your mobile(s) as a temporary back-up.
12th Feb 2009
To leap to John's defence, it appears you still have not read the question. He does not say that 2/3 years is too long. He is saying he is 'bothered' by how to obtain that experience. Your interpretation of his question is clearly wrong and you might have been a little more thoughtful in your original response.