VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol is in a nutshell your phone via through the computer. One of the biggest benefits to this is the savings on long distance phone calls. Because you are accessing the phone through your modem it is essentially costing you about 1 cent a minute. Even the lowest telephone plan is around 5 cents a minute and to get that you have to be calling late at night. Another benefit is the mobility, VOIP users can take there phone with them where ever they go. As long as they have a modem connection they have access to there phone. Should they be away from the phone for a period of time they have the traditional messaging services available to them. However, despite these advantages it is worth noting that not everyone has a VOIP phone which can make things a bit of a hassle. Because VOIP phone have different phone numbers it also means switching your phone number. If there was ever a power outage you would also find that your VOIP phone useless without power to the modem. All in all we are seeing what through VOIP what the future has in store for the telephone industry however it is clear that certain advancements need to be made in order for this to become the new norm.
Skype is a type of VoIP that allows you to communicate with others through voice, video and instant messaging. The nice thing about skype is that communication with other skype users is free of charge which allows for more personal interaction via the internet. It is versatile in it's ability to transfer files and videoconferencing. The thing that sets it apart from other VoIP services is that it has a peer to peer and a client based system.