What's Your IQ on Basic PC Phone (VoIP) Knowledge
Short T/F quiz
1. T / F You can save a significant amount of money using VoIP rather than traditional telephone/cell phone calling methods.
2. T / F The minimum requirement for VoIP is a broadband (high speed) connection.
3. T / F VoIP security is not an issue to be concerned about because most computers are protected with firewalls.
4. T / F Over 75% of the world will be using VoIP for communication within the next 3-4 years.
5. T / F You can make all your phone calls anywhere in the world from your computer.
6. T / F Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks are perfectly safe to use, especially if your computer is protected with firewalls.
1. The answer is True. In fact, it is the tremendous savings of up to 80% off traditional phone calling that makes VoIP attractive to consumers and businesses. The only equipment needed for VoIP is your PC and a microphone (if one is not built into your PC). Beware of VoIP service providers that require you to purchase additional equipment and/or sign contracts.
2. The answer is False. Although the public has been fed a steady diet that the minimum requirement for VoIP is a high speed (broadband) connection, this is absolutely false.
Over 90% of the VoIP providers have used this false premise as a smokescreen to take your focus off the fact that their priority was and is to line their own pockets rather than expend the time, effort, and funds to develop technology that incorporates dial up capability.
The technology required for dial up connections to use VoIP involves the ability to compress data packets down to a minimum size of 8 kbps prior to traveling over the Internet.
3. The answer is False. Security should be the most important feature of any VoIP solution provider. Firewalls do not incorporate protection for VoIP. VoIP security should incorporate protection against identity theft, Trojan horses, viruses, and worms.
Craig Pollard of Siemens advised that "Voice must be protected like any other application". He further stated that, "Along with IT directors and telecom managers, a number of financial directors came to our road shows, which may not be surprising considering the damaging potential of VoIP threats if a network is not properly protected."
Over 90% of VoIP solution providers do not operate on secure lines. These providers, in order to save a few dollars at your expense, operate on industry standard codec (encryption codes) and industry standard protocols which are publicly open and interpretable. Hacker friendly providers offer hacker manuals, software, programs, and even processor chips that makes accessibility to your computer from these industry standards - as enticing as chum is to sharks in a feeding frenzy.
When a computer hacker gains unauthorized access to your computer, their sole purpose is to steal your identity and sell your personal and confidential information to other criminal entities. In addition, they often plant Trojan horses, viruses, and worms into your computer.
4. The answer is True. Industry insiders such AT&T says, "VoIP traffic is projected to account for approximately 75% of the world's voice traffic by 2007". This suggests a major paradigm shift in communication.
5. The answer is True. Not only can you make all your phone calls anywhere in the world from your computer, you can also travel with your computer phone. Simply by bringing your unique number and password, you can download your phone with your entire contact list. Of course, PC to PC is usually free between subscribers. PC to telephones and cell phones typically involves fees at drastically reduced rates when compared to traditional calling rates.
6. The answer is False. P2P networks use industry standard codec (encryption codes) and industry standard protocols which are publicly open and interpretable.
John Ashcroft, Attorney General, in remarks at the High Technology Crime Investigation Association 2004 International Training Conference held on September 13, 2004 stated, "We have seen worms and viruses attack?disrupting basic services?And with the increased use of the Internet and especially peer-to-peer networking, we have seen malicious code spread more quickly and infect more personal computers than ever before. The cost of these worms, viruses, and denial-of-service attacks?reaches into the billions of dollars."
P2P networks such as Skype operate by taking bandwidth (information carrying capacity) from customers on their service to assist other customers using their service - analogous to a symbiotic relationship. The tools that enable them to accomplish this are bundled in the software their customers agree to in order to download and access their VoIP service.
Another grave concern for both individuals and businesses when using P2P systems is unknowingly having your computer used as a supernode. A supernode occurs when your computer is arbitrarily assigned as a hub.
When you are running the software for P2P services, your computer's disk space, bandwidth, and processing power are used to help other users on the same system operate their software more efficiently because of their own network or firewall constraints.
We as consumers still have a lot to learn about VoIP, as this technology is the new era of communication and is continuously being changed.
All VoIP service providers need to incorporate the protection, needs, and desires of its customers, as well as address security and dial up capability.
All VoIP service providers should invest in developing a proprietary patented technology that incorporates compression of data packets so that their VoIP can be used on dial up connections, as well as cable, satellite, and wireless.
All VoIP service providers should develop and create their own proprietary high end encryption codec with patented technology, simply because they do not want their customers to be victims of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, or have their identity stolen as a result of using their VoIP service.
Simply put, all VoIP service providers should place the protection, security, and needs of their customers FIRST. Of course, they are in business to earn profits, but it should not be at the expense of exposing their customers to unscrupulous entities.
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Dee Scrip is a well known and respected published author of numerous articles on VoIP, VoIP Security, and other related VoIP issues. Other articles can be found at www.free-pc-phone.com">http://www.free-pc-phone.com