Have You Heard About JAJAH Yet?

Have you heard about JAJAH yet? If you haven’t chances are you will soon. JAJAH is a VOIP internet phone service that lets you make cheap phone calls using regular phones. Calls between JAJAH users are free and calls from JAJAH users to landlines or mobile phones anywhere in the world are subject to low rates.

As a JAJAH user, you make a call using a form on the Jajah.com web page or using one of many JAJAH plugins for Google, Outlook, Plaxo, Firefox and Mac OS/X. First your phone rings, and when you pick up, JAJAH connects you to the other party. JAJAH uses the internet to transmit the call long distance, and the local telephone network at both ends to connect the parties. Kind of like a sandwich: local telephone service is the bread, and the tuna fish is the Internet.

Today there are other companies providing similar services, but Jajah is one of the first, and with a new agreement with Intel just inked (May 2007), JAJAH Mobile integration with cell phones, conference calling, and customizable web site buttons, JAJAH is set up to be everywhere…soon.

Try JAJAH without Registering

You can try JAJAH for free without registering and make a 5-minute call anywhere.

Go to www.jajah.com. Enter your location and phone number and your friend’s location and phone number, and then click CALL. When your phone rings, pick up and wait while JAJAH connects you. You’ll hear an operator tell you what’s happening.

Here are some screen shots to put it all together for you:

Making a call

Once you register for free, you can make JAJAH calls. You have to buy some credit first, even if you are making free calls to other JAJAH users.

Free calls are subject to the following  policy:

“Calls are free when both call participants are registered as JAJAH users and the call was initiated on JAJAH Web (www.jajah.com). When calling a number not registered with JAJAH and in countries where free phone calls are not available, calls are subject to JAJAH’s regular low rates. The low JAJAH rates also apply when the call was initiated on JAJAH Mobile Web (mobile.jajah.com) or the JAJAH Mobile Suite/Plugin.”

Setting up a Conference Call

Setting up a conference call using JAJAH is straightforward.

Is VOIP Too Good to be True? Weighing the Advantages, Disadvantages of VOIP

If VOIP is such a great thing, why isn’t everybody using it? Well, for starters the bandwagon is crowded—there are lots of VOIP broadband phone providers out there. The other thing is there are some drawbacks to VOIP.

For instance, during power outages, you’ll have no Internet connection, and therefore, no phone service. In other words, no power, no phone.

So if the downsides are so well known, the real question is, what are all these hundreds of VOIP phone companies doing about them?

VOIP Advantages

First, we have an expectation that VOIP has many advantages over regular phone service.

Low cost. If you have a broadband Internet connection (DSL or cable), you can make PC-to-PC phone calls anywhere in the world for free. If you wish to make a PC-to-phone connection, there’s usually a charge for this but probably much cheaper than your regular phone service.

You can pay as you go or you can sign up with a VOIP service provider and pay a monthly fee in return for unlimited calls within a certain geographic area. For example, some VOIP services in the United States allow you to call anywhere in North America at no extra charge. Overseas calls are charged at a relatively small rate.

Portability. You can take your cheap phone service with you and make and receive phone calls wherever there is a broadband connection simply by signing in to your VOIP account. This makes VOIP as convenient as e-mail.

If you are traveling, simply pack a headset and use your laptop plugged into the Internet, or plug a VOIP phone directly into the Internet connection and you can talk to your family or business associates for almost nothing. If you don’t have a VOIP phone, use an analog terminal adaptor (ATA) to connect a regular phone to the Internet. Today you can find ATAs that small, portable and inexpensive. A great idea for frequent travelers.

Phone-to-phone VOIP is also portable. When you sign up with a VoIP service provider the Internet phone or adaptor that is used with that service is assigned a unique number. This ‘phone number’ remains valid even if your VoIP service is in Cleveland and you are connected to the Internet in Bangkok. An Internet phone is small and light enough to take with you anywhere. Simply plug it into a broadband connection anywhere in the world and you can make and receive calls just as though you were in your own home or office.

Features. Unlike regular phone service which usually charges more for extra features, VOIP comes with a host of advanced communication features. For example, call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, caller ID and three-way calling are some of the many services included with VOIP telephone service at no extra charge. You can also send data such as pictures and documents at the same time you are talking on the phone.

VOIP Disadvantages

If VOIP is starting to sound really good to you, make sure you understand the following downsides as well.

No service during a power outage. During a blackout a regular phone is kept in service by the current supplied through the phone line. This is not possible with IP phones, so when the power goes out, there is no VOIP phone service. One solution to this problem is to use battery backups or power generators to provide electricity.

If you decide to continue subscribing to a regular phone line as an emergency backup, consider that monthly cost cuts into your overall VOIP savings. However, VOIP would still make sense in this case if your home or business made significant long distance calls.

Emergency 911 calls. Another major concern with VOIP involves emergency 911 calls. Traditional phone equipment can trace your location. Emergency calls are diverted to the nearest call center where the operator can see your location in case you can’t talk. However, because a voice-over-IP call is essentially a transfer of data between two IP addresses, not physical addresses, with VOIP there is currently no way to determine where your VOIP phone call is originating from.

To solve this issue, the E911 standard by law mandates that VOIP service providers pass name and address information to the nearest Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) when 911 is dialed. Not all PSAPs in the country support E911 yet, so you should ask when deciding on a VOIP service provider, if E911 is supported in your area.

Reliability. Because VOIP relies on an Internet connection, your VOIP service will be affected by the quality and reliability of your broadband Internet service and sometimes by the limitations of your PC. Poor Internet connections and congestion can result in garbled or distorted voice quality. If you are using your computer at the same time as making a computer VOIP call, you may find that voice quality deteriorates dramatically.

Bad or unreliable internet connections can result in poor voice quality, such as clipping, voice delay, or dropped calls. And emergency 911 service may not work as you expect.

For example, you can expect to save significantly on long distance charges. And, if you are happy to make and receive calls on your computer, you won’t likely have to pay a cent beyond the cost of your regular Internet connection.…

Getting Started with Voice-Over-IP

Simply put, VOIP is using an IP network like the Internet for voice conversations. Instead of using traditional land lines to make voice calls, you use a broadband connection to the Internet and thereby by-pass telephone company services AND charges. More about regular phone service versus VOIP…

Another big advantage to VOIP is that you receive incoming calls to your VOIP phone no matter where you are in the world. The caller always dials the same number, but you could be in Paris, Montreal, or Timbuktu. As long as you have an Internet connection and your VOIP phone plugged into the internet, or VOIP software running on your computer, you can receive and make calls.

That’s not all. Most VOIP services include loads of great features that traditional telephone companies charge for, like voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, three-way calling and call transfer. Now that is pretty cool.

Wait a Minute, is VOIP Too Good to be True?

If VOIP is such a great thing, why isn’t everybody jumping on the bandwagon? Well, the bandwagon is certainly crowded, and there are some drawbacks to VOIP.

For instance, during power outages, you’ll have no Internet connection, and therefore, no phone service. In other words, no power, no phone.

Bad or unreliable internet connections can result in poor voice quality, such as clipping, voice delay, or dropped calls.

And emergency 911 service may not work as you expect. More about the advantages and disadvantages of VOIP home phone service…

Survey VOIP Broadband Phone Providers for the Best Deal

So, why should you give VOIP a try? You should because you have the potential to save a lot of money in long distance charges and because the start up costs are FREE to minimal.There are a number of ways to get started.

Choose a VoIP broadband phone provider. Companies like Vonage and Packet8 offer packages for IP to landline phone calls at rates well below traditional telephone and long distance companies.

Choose a free Voice over IP service provided by companies like Skype, Gizmo Project and Free World Dialup if you just want to try VOIP without a big dollar commitment. In this case, the free call is from one computer to another, and both are running the same or compatible VoIP software. To make and received calls on your computer, you need the client software installed, a microphone and a headset.

Call the World for Less

If you are looking to connect with friends and family in different parts of the world, VOIP offers great alternative to traditional long distance companies, especially if you plan to place long distance calls and international calls frequently.

When comparing VOIP service plans, look for the rates to other countries. Especially if you make calls to the UK, India, Pakistan, Philippines the cost savings will amaze you.

So What Do I Really Need?

Depending on how you want to make VOIP calls, your equipment needs vary. If you want to use a regular phone, you need an ATA adaptor or a special VOIP phone that plugs directly into your high speed broadband connection. Service providers normally provide this equipment as part of your service plan.

For computer-to-computer calls, you just need a computer with sound card, VOIP software, a microphone, and earphones or speakers. VOIP software is often free to download and there are literally dozens of good packages out there.More about the hardware and software you need to get started using VOIP.

Still Mystified?

If all this is already leaving you in the dark, STOP reading right now and go to our easy to follow VoIP tutorial. Here’s where you’ll learn the basics. We’ve also compiled a VOIP glossary of terms and definitions that will help you keep everything straight.…