As businesses continue to increase their VoIP adoption rates for reasons of cost and efficiency, the effect is starting to trickle down into homes as well. But if professional organizations are wary about the impact of VoIP on their firm, the concern is much more severe in individual homes.
Most people have neither the time, nor the inclination to perform complex set ups and it must be admitted that unless we reach a stage where a technician cane come to your home and do all the work for you just like with a regular telephone line, customers will need to perform the set up themselves. However, unlike the set up procedure for PSTN phones which involve wires and activating a new physical line, VoIP's installation requires software configurations.
Skype is of course, one of the most popular VoIP products. You can make outgoing calls easily with a headset and microphone, but can't receive calls without signing up for their SkypeIn service. You can purchase a SkypeIn telephone number which people can use to make calls to you on your computer, phone, or any other device on which Skype is running. You can even purchase a Skype phone dedicated to this purpose which you can keep as a landline. But with the proliferation of mobile phones running the Skype application, these have become somewhat outdated.
A second option to enable VoIP in your home is to subscribe to a VoIP provider. There are many ways of doing this and each provider may have a different way of going about it. MagicJack for example needs to have your computer running all the time you want to make and receive calls. Other providers will give you specific hardware which you need to hook up. Follow their instructions closely to set up VoIP in your house.
But if you choose to go for a complete SIP based solution, then you have a great deal of flexibility. With other services, you're tied down to using the same phone or service when you're in the house. When you sign up with an SIP provider though, you can also use your phone's Internet connection to make calls anywhere you go by logging in to the SIP server at the other end. You'll have to purchase an IP phone or an ATA adapter to make your regular PSTN phone work with IP.
These are some of the ways you can use VoIP at home. It takes a bit of tweaking, but it's definitely worth the effort.