VoIP uses the same network protocol as BT, but uses the Internet to connect to the global phone network to make calls. Moneysupermarket say “It is now difficult to tell the difference between a regular phone call and a VoIP to phone network call”. (Source accessed 11/6/12). You use a normal phone (normally) and call people on their normal phones (normally). The exceptions to this are that there are some fancy options. You can get your mobile phone to make calls. You can use your computer. You can have a phone number for anywhere - London, Germany, New York. And other clever things. And because you use the internet, international calls are cheaper and you don't need to pay for line rental. You can cancel your phone line and move your number to the VoIP service (see how below).
In order to take advantage of the VoIP service, you need a small adaptor between your phone system and the internet router, which costs £45. RedRaw will install it for you. You can alternatively use a VoIP phone, which is a DECT phone that connects direct to the router, if you wish..
Using Existing Phones
VoIP services can be accessed using an adapter with a traditional landline phone or DECT made for landline. It's easy peasy.
If you want to get fancy
For mobile phones, any Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) app will let you use your mobile as a VoIP phone. You can also use such apps on your computer. See for example this link.
You can also get a special VoIP phone - see side panel.
Transferring your phone number
Send a copy of your BT or other phone provider bill to Mark at RedRaw and he will organise the transfer of your phone line. One way to do this is to photograph it with your smartphone. Email Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org) and say you ar on the Stoddenworld service.
Suggested VoIP Phones
The alternative is to have a dedicated VoIP handset, which contains the IP components needed to convert voice to digital signals. You only need to think of this if you want clever business applications or you need to change your phone anyway.
VoIP phones are manufactured according to the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephone (DECT) standards and like ordinary phones are available in desktop, cordless and wireless versions . Because VoIP service relies on internet connectivity, some VoIP phone handsets contain additional components for video, internet access and networking with computers and other devices as well.