Internet Phone Services Simplified


Internet Phone Services Simplified gives you the most basic need-to-know information and then teaches you how to get the most out of your VoIP phone services:

  • Understand how broadband VoIP, Internet VoIP, and VoIP Chat services work
  • Learn about and compare different services, their advantages, and their limitations
  • Subscribe to a service, ...
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Internet Phone Services Simplified gives you the most basic need-to-know information and then teaches you how to get the most out of your VoIP phone services:

  • Understand how broadband VoIP, Internet VoIP, and VoIP Chat services work
  • Learn about and compare different services, their advantages, and their limitations
  • Subscribe to a service, install equipment, and troubleshoot issues that might arise
  • Integrate services into your home, including reusing your existing house telephone wiring and phone handsets
  • Extend VoIP throughout your home by using multiline, extendable cordless phone systems
  • Take advantage of VoIP features, including virtual phone numbers and listening to voicemail using your computer while traveling

Internet phone services offer great advantages over existing telephone systems, allowing you to save money and make and receive calls using high-speed and broadband services. To help you take advantage of all that the Internet has to offer, Internet Phone Services Simplified provides you with an illustrated guide to understanding, selecting, and setting up voice over IP (VoIP) phone services.

Internet Phone Services Simplified isn’t overly technical—you’ll get just what you need so that VoIP doesn’t seem like a mystery and so that you can make good choices about Internet phone services.

  • Provides a full-color illustrated and simple approach to learning about VoIP
  • Follow step-by-step instructions for selecting and installing VoIP at home
  • Explore new Internet telephony features and services

Approved for Technical Accuracy by The Geek Squad

This book is part of the Networking Technology Series from Cisco Press®, the only authorized publisher for Cisco Systems®.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587201622
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 4/25/2006
  • Series: Networking Technology Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Doherty is the director of marketing and programs with Symbol Technologies’ industry solutions group. Prior to joining Symbol, Jim worked at Cisco Systems®, where he led various marketing campaigns for IP telephony and routing and switching solutions. Jim has 17 years of engineering and marketing experience across a broad range of networking and communications technologies. Jim is the coauthor of Cisco Networking Simplified and Home Networking Simplified and the author of the “Study Notes” section of Cisco CCNA Exam #640-607 Flash Card Practice Kit. Jim is a former Marine Corps sergeant; he holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from N.C. State University and an M.B.A. from Duke University.

Neil Anderson is a senior manager in enterprise systems engineering at Cisco Systems and is currently responsible for enterprise wide-area networking, branch-office networking, and teleworking systems architectures. Neil has more than 20 years of diverse telecom experience, including public telephone systems, mobile telephone systems, IP networks, wireless networking, and home networks. Neil has held roles in research and development, systems engineering, and technical marketing. Neil is the co-author of Home Networking Simplified. At Cisco Systems, Neil leads the development of network systems architectures, including voice over IP (VoIP), wireless LAN (WLAN), and security technologies, for enterprise and small-business customers. Neil holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

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Table of Contents

Part I Internet Telephony Fundamentals

Chapter 1 Traditional Phone Systems

In the Beginning

Rise of the Machines

Ma Bell

Breaking Up the Happy Family

Mobile Telephone System


Consolidate, Merge, and Acquire

Important Things to Know About the PSTN

Chapter 2 Voice over IP (VoIP)

Circuit Switching and Packet Switching

How VoIP Works

VoIP Signaling

How VoIP Carries a Conversation

VoIP Features

Power in VoIP Networks

Putting It All Together

Chapter 3 Advantages of Broadband Phone Services

Lowering Your Monthly Phone Bill

Infrastructure Costs

Transport Costs

Regulatory Compliance

Taxes and Fees

Phone Number Flexibility

Keeping Your Same Phone Number

Virtual Phone Numbers

Online Call Management

Voice Mail

Call Forwarding

Call Logs

Click to Dial

Summary of Advantages

Chapter 4 Knowing Your Limits


It’s Electric

Reliance on Broadband and the Internet

Voice Quality

911 and E911

How 911 and E911 Works

The Challenge for VoIP


Summary of Limitations

Chapter 5 From the Geek Squad Files

Part II Choosing an Internet Phone Service

Chapter 6 Inventory of Broadband Phone Services

Internet VoIP Phone Services

Cable VoIP Digital Phone Services

VoIP Chat Services

Summary of Broadband Phone Services

Chapter 7 Selecting an Internet Phone Service

What Will I Use It For?

What Is My Backup Plan?


Backup Line

Keeping a Minimal PSTN Line

Which Service Should I Choose?

Looking at Total Costs

Is It Reliable Enough?

Does It Have the Features You Need?

Are Specialized Devices Supported?

Revisiting Safety and 911

Comparing Plans


Chapter 8 Selecting VoIP Equipment

Cable VoIP Service Equipment

Internet VoIP Service Equipment

Choosing a Terminal Adapter

What Do the Internet VoIP Providers Offer?

VoIP Chat Service Equipment


Chapter 9 From the Geek Squad Files

Part III Going VoIP at Home

Chapter 10 Connecting the VoIP Equipment

Starting Point

Connecting Cable VoIP Service

Connecting Internet VoIP Service

Signing Up for Service

Installing a Stand-alone Terminal Adapter

Installing an Integrated Router/Terminal Adapter

Connecting VoIP Chat Service

Making a Test Call

911 or E911 Registration


Addendum: Manually Configuring Terminal Adapters for Home Networks Using

Static IP Addresses

Chapter 11 Making VoIP Accessible Throughout Your Home

Using Cordless Phones with VoIP

Separate PSTN and VoIP Lines

Two-Line Cordless Phones

Using Your Home Telephone Wiring with VoIP

Introduction to Home Telephone Wiring

Getting Access to Two Lines

Home Wiring with Cable VoIP Service

Home Wiring with Internet VoIP Service

Issues with Multiple Handsets

Overloading Your Terminal Adapter’s Ringer Equivalence


Simultaneous Handsets Off Hook

Multiline VoIP Services

Specialized Phone Devices


TiVo and Satellite Receiver Boxes

Home Security/Alarm Systems


Chapter 12 Using Wireless Networks to Extend VoIP

Wireless Bridges

Wireless Phone Jacks


Chapter 13 Troubleshooting: Can You Hear Me Now?

Classify the Trouble

Service Connection Problems

Voice Quality Issues

Broadband Speed

Broadband Network Quality

Other Issues

Dialing-Related Issues

Getting Additional Help from Your VoIP Provider


Chapter 14 From the Geek Squad Files

Part IV VoIP Chat Services

Chapter 15 VoIP Chat Services

Instant Messaging



Internet Messaging with Voice


Chapter 16 Using Skype and Google Talk

Installing and Using Skype

Improving Your Audio Quality

Calling People Who Have “Real” Phones (and Phone Numbers)

Getting Calls from People Who Use “Real” Phones

Installing and Using Google Talk

Adding Contacts in Google Talk

Using Google Talk


Chapter 17 The Future of Telephony

A Review of What We Have Now

The Cost Battle: Consumers Versus Companies and Governments

System Convergence

Future Use Scenario

Mitigating Factor No. 1: Intrasystem Cooperation

Mitigating Factor No. 2: Battery Life and Size


Chapter 18 From the Geek Squad Files



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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2006

    Great for understanding services like Vonage

    I would say that the contents of this book match the book¿s title completely. I found the book to be well organized, illustrated and supported by great practical examples. It¿s written in plain English where ever possible and when the technical jargon is used it was always accompanied by a clear explanation. Although having a basic understanding of a home network setup is helpful, it¿s by no means necessary to benefit from this book. Anyone looking to gain a basic understanding of how internet voice services work and how to select the appropriate service for their particular situation will find this book to be of great help. There are plenty of examples to reinforce the text. The sections written by ¿The Geek Squad¿ were nice to see because they discussed the knowledge gained from the everyday implementation and support of internet voice services. The sections also included some humor which made reading the book enjoyable as well as informative. Internet Phone Services Simplified is directed mostly at the home user. I¿ve noticed more and more advertisements for phone services over a high speed broadband internet connection. It seems everyone from my phone and cable companies, to my Internet Provider and other various vendors have some form of voice offerings. And they all want my business. This book will help the reader understand the differences between voice services over cable, DSL and even Instant Messaging services with voice capabilities. The book compares everything from cost, reliability, voice quality and most importantly, 911 and E911 services. It doesn¿t try to sell you on one type of service over another. It just explains well the differences between the services and leaves it to the reader to decide which would be best for them. I was surprised to see services like Skype and Instant Messaging covered. These services are free and even with having a lower voice quality than the paid services, would usually work well enough for those making limited long distance calls. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone considering using Internet Voice Services. The cost of the book could very well save you some money by choosing the service that best suits your needs and at the least would save you some frustration trying to get your system set up and working. This alone is often worth the cost of many books.

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