Talk Is Cheap

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Fed up with the high tolls charged by your ordinary telephone service? If you're itching to cut the copper cord with your costly, traditional phone service, you need Talk is Cheap, the new, easy-to-understand guide to understanding and using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other Internet telephone options.Technologies such as VoIP are gaining a great deal of attention these days as more people switch from standard telephone service to phone service via the Internet. But while the cost savings are ...

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Fed up with the high tolls charged by your ordinary telephone service? If you're itching to cut the copper cord with your costly, traditional phone service, you need Talk is Cheap, the new, easy-to-understand guide to understanding and using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other Internet telephone options.Technologies such as VoIP are gaining a great deal of attention these days as more people switch from standard telephone service to phone service via the Internet. But while the cost savings are outstanding, there are some issues with Internet telephony that you should know about. Are the connections reliable? Is the quality comparable? Will it include 911 services? James Gaskin's Talk is Cheap addresses these issues and many more by explaining how to make the switch and what the tradeoffs will be if you opt for Internet telephony over traditional phone services.Talk is Cheap focuses on the increasingly popular services from Vonage, which uses VoIP, and Skype—a free service that operates as a peer-to-peer (P2P) network with the ability to turn any PC, Mac, or Pocket PC into a telephone. The book explains your options; explores the background behind, the workings of, and differences between VoIP and P2P networks; and discusses the advantages and drawbacks of both technologies (including service offerings, quality, capabilities, completion rates, and more).Talk is Cheap then goes into detail on what you can expect in Internet service from traditional phone companies such as Verizon and AT&T. In addition, you will learn more advanced techniques, including how to turn your Palm or Pocket PC into an Internet phone and how to work with Wi-Fi phones and videophones.A straightforward, quick introduction to the ins and outs of using Internet telephone services, this book provides everything you need to make informed telephone decisions—whether you're thinking about the switch from traditional phone service or have already made it and want to get the most out of your new Internet telephone.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
You’ve seen the ads for Internet telephone service: “all-you-can-eat” calling, for one low (sometimes very low) price. Sounds great, but what’s the real deal? What service should you choose? How do you connect it? Will it work with your firewall? What if you want multiple phones? What if the lights go out, or you need to call 911? Can you transfer your existing number? Should you? Talk Is Cheap answers all those questions, and more: honestly, breezily, objectively.

James Gaskin explains how Internet telephony works and walks through all your options, from Vonage to Verizon -- including what you can (and can’t) get for free, from Skype. You’ll learn what equipment you need (if any); walk through your new service’s features (and compromises); even learn how to use broadband phones with alarm systems and TiVo boxes. Bill Camarda, from the October 2005 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596009601
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/15/2005
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

James E. Gaskin has been solving computer and network problems for businesses small and large since 1984. He also writes books, articles,and jokes about technology AND real life. In 16 books and hundreds of articles, network consultant Gaskin tells people faster, cheaper, newer, and smarter ways to connect to each other and the world.A founding member of the Network World Lab Alliance, Gaskin focuses on small office issues and product testing. He is the leading voice for the small business market through his long-running Small Business Technology newsletter distributed by Network World. As a speaker, Gaskin travels the country in Hawaiian shirts helping people laugh at their IT pain while teaching them new ways to put technology to work. In venues such as Network World Technology Tours and seminars at leading industry conventions such as Networld + InterOp,Gaskin delivers objective information stripped of marketing hype in his trademark "unbiased and unboring" style.When avoiding computers, Gaskin plays classical chamber music on the violin and tennis (but not at the same time) in the Dallas area.

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Table of Contents

About This Book;
Why You Need to Use This Book;
How This Book Is Organized;
Who This Book Is For;
Conventions Used in This Book;
I’d Like to Hear from You;
Comments and Questions;
Safari Enabled;
Chapter 1: How Internet Telephone Calls Work;
1.1 Analog to Digital, Voice to Data;
1.2 VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol);
1.3 Riding the Internet Past the Telephone Companies;
1.4 Redial;
Chapter 2: Your Internet Phone;
2.1 Phone-Centric Providers;
2.2 Computer-Centric Providers;
2.3 What’s Old Is New Again: Internet Telephony from Phone Companies;
2.4 Redial;
Chapter 3: Free Internet Phone Features that You’re Paying for Now;
3.1 Saving Money;
3.2 Handling, or Not, Calls;
3.3 Other Features;
3.4 Optional ($$) Features;
3.5 Redial;
Chapter 4: hoosing Your Internet Phone Equipment;
4.1 Phone-Centric Equipment;
4.2 Computer-Centric Equipment;
4.3 Beyond Standard Voice to Video;
4.4 Redial;
Chapter 5: Vonage and Other Broadband Phone Carriers;
5.1 Broadband Phone Carriers;
5.2 What You Get with a Broadband Phone;
5.3 Before You Sign Up;
5.4 Signing Up;
5.5 After You Sign Up;
5.6 Troubleshooting;
5.7 Redial;
Chapter 6: Skype and Other Computer-centric Services;
6.1 Skype and Competitors;
6.2 Stumbling Blocks;
6.3 Computer-Centric Phone Features;
6.4 How to Sign Up;
6.5 Requirements;
6.6 How Much?;
6.7 Decision Checklist for New Users;
6.8 Using Skype;
6.9 Managing Your Account;
6.10 Skype for the Pocket PC;
6.11 What Skype Forgets to Tell You;
6.12 Troubleshooting;
6.13 Redial;
Chapter 7: 911, Alarms, and Other Outgoing Calls;
7.1 911 Issues;
7.2 Alarm Systems and TV Device Phone Links;
7.3 SkypeOut;
7.4 Broadband Enhancements to Traditional Telephone Services;
7.5 Redial;
Chapter 8: Tricks, Tips, and Techniques for Advanced Users;
8.1 Adding Phone Extensions by Rewiring or Other Options;
8.2 Improving Your Call Quality;
8.3 Conference Calls;
8.4 Skype Instant Messaging Tricks;
8.5 Broadband Phone Politics;
8.6 Redial;
Chapter 9: Go Wireless;
9.1 Skype and SIP-Friendly Cordless Phones;
9.2 Wi-Fi Internet Phones;
9.3 Futures;
9.4 Redial;

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2005

    I saved money using VOIP

    I'm a prime candidate for using voice over Internet (VOIP), so it was with much interest that I dove into this book. The first few chapters are background information describing VOIP, how it works, and how it is different (and the same) as landline phone service. There is even a comparison of what you might pay in each case. Since there are a myriad of choices in the VOIP universe I was glad to see a clear (and sometimes humorous) explanation as to what each offers. It helped me select which way to go for my own personal situation. Implementing the information from this book is saving me at least $10 a month initially and perhaps a lot more in the future. Anyone wanting to adopt VOIP should read Talk is Cheap before deciding which (if any) provider to use.

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