Net Xpress: Just when you thought the VoIP discussion was done

June 01, 2004|SHEILA CLARK

OK, I know the VoIP was supposed to be a two-part ordeal but there is so much information to squeeze in. So, let's just call this is a quick wrapup, if you please.

The various layers of VoIP that we have covered all have a common goal: Keeping Internet users in constant communication with their family and friends with either a no-cost or low-cost solution.

One very important fact that I need to pass on to you is that most VoIP solutions do not provide traditional 911 or E911 (Enhanced 911) service. So you need to have another means for making emergency phone calls, be it a cell phone or whatever.

Another important fact is that with a VoIP phone number, you can take your phone number with you. For instance, let's say you take a summer vacation to the Caribbean. As long as your destination has broadband access for you to connect your adapter to, you can bring your VoIP phone along with you. So if you need to call someone back home, or vice versa, it's a free local call.


VoIP may not be the right solution for everyone, but for those who it does benefit, it is a godsend. Some Internet users have even gone as far as eliminating their landline phone service for a VoIP solution.

You will see good and bad opinions on both sides of the landline versus VoIP phone services issue. There are plenty of online sites to help you make the choice that is right for you. Check out sites such as the VoIP comparison at for a side-by-side feature comparison.

Also, keep in mind that most broadband phone services offer home and business solutions. Some companies offer both free and paid services as well. Some have software or hardware solutions or offer both as an option.

Throughout the VoIP layers, you will see that several companies have positioned themselves in more than one level of Internet telephony. This is an advantage to Internet users because it leaves plenty of room for a buffet-style selection of services.

A good online resource covering VoIP can be found on CNET Editors' guide to VoIP. It explains in detail how the technology works and provides diagrams of how it is set up.

MSN Live chats events

May 27: Singing trio Wilson Phillips chats at 7 p.m. Go.

Virus and worm alert

* Apple's Mac OS X is getting served with a dual punch attack due to two extremely critical security flaws found recently in the operating system. The flaws allow hackers to place a file on a compromised Mac system and run the file via a browser command. Learn more.

* The Lovegate worm is back in action but this time with a twist. It not only mass-mails itself, it also replies to any unread inbound message in an infected systems inbox. Read more.

Sites to see

Dropload at offers a free service where an Internet user can temporarily store a large file that they wish to share with another Internet user. To use the service, one must sign up and supply a valid e-mail address. The user uploads the file to be shared and then the service notifies the receiver when the file is ready to download. There are the usual file restrictions such as no uploading of pornography or copyright materials. The site has a 50MB file limit and after two days, the file will be permanently removed from a system.

E-mail me at; fax me at (859) 236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149.

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