Exploring VoIP in Linux

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Article from Issue 82/2007
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Using a headset and a webcam to make phone calls is easy, interactive, and even free, thanks to VoIP. In this month's cover story, we'll help you choose a VoIP softphone, and we'll show you how to configure your own Asterisk exchange server.

VoIP offers many benefits, not the least of which is economy. PC-based phone calls are typically free, apart from the Internet charges you would pay anyway. VoIP also provides features that aren’t available on most conventional phone lines. For instance, VoIP clients (also known as softphones) support video as well as voice, meaning that the person you call can actually see you. And VoIP is portable. If you register your current public IP address with your provider, your provider can forward your calls to wherever you are on the Internet.

Of course, VoIP has its disadvantages: for a good conversation over the Internet, you’ll need a fast Internet connection. And if you want to receive incoming calls at any time, you will need to leave your computer switched on.VoIP might not be for everyone, but Internet telephony is growing increasingly popular as an alternative to conventional phone services. In this month’s cover story, I explore VoIP in Linux.

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