VoIP phones utilize packet-switched Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), or Internet telephony, to transmit telephone calls over the Internet as opposed to the circuit-switched telephony used by the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The advantage to VoIP phone calls is that unlike regular long-distance calls, phone calls made through a VoIP phone service are free – there are no fees beyond the cost of your Internet access.
Also referred to as online phones or Internet phones, a VoIP phone can be a physical telephone with built-in IP technology and an RJ-45 Ethernet connector instead of the RJ-11 phone connector found in standard phones, or it can be a voice-capable computer that uses VoIP hardware such as MagicJack or VoIP software like Skype. This flexibility makes it possible for VoIP phone calls to function as Internet phone-to-phone, Internet phone-to-PC, PC-to-PC or PC-to-phone calls.
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