Want to switch to wireless?

Cheap wireless broadband Internet has made life much easier for laptop users. Whether at home or away, once you are used to wireless, you may not want to use wires – ever! But are there any problems with wireless connections?

The way we use broadband Internet is changing. Nowadays, with the popularity of image and file sharing websites, it is hard to live with a dial-up internet connection. Even if you live in a remote area, there are ways of getting cheap broadband internet. Many mobile companies offer facilities for you to connect via mobile phones and you can even get broadband via satellite.

The prices of wireless broadband modems are coming down and nowadays you can pick up a decent router for under £50 from most shops. There are some cheap broadband deals, which offer a free modem when you sign up for a contract.

But is this all-good news? Well, kind of. The main problem with wireless connection compared to a wired broadband network is the security. If you do not set up the security carefully, then other people can easily use your connection. So you need to make sure that the connection is encrypted. It is not as hard as it sounds and most routers and ISP modems come with instructions of how to do this. Your broadband provider will also be able to guide you on this if you need any help.

One of the common mistake people do when they go wireless is to buy the cheapest equipment available without doing research. It is always worth reading broadband reviews and guides on wireless equipment before you shell out your cash. Remember, reliability is more important than saving a few pennies on equipment.

Finding better broadband deals

With so many Internet providers entering the market every day, the prices to get a high-speed connection are falling. With so many to choose from, how do you decide broadband supplier offers the right package for you?

Download Limits – The “Unlimited broadband” myth

Many ISPs advertise “Unlimited Broadband” as their unique selling point. Even these so called “Unlimited” download limits do have fair usage policies (usually not well advertised, like most small print). If you use your broadband internet connection just to browse internet, check emails and do some shopping, you may not need a huge download limit or an unlimited deal for which you have to pay more. One of the common impacts of advertising these days is to make you believe that you need something, which in fact, may not be true. So know what download limit you need and do not end up paying over the odds because of seeing a flashy advertisement from an Internet service provider.

Compare prices and read consumer reviews

Broadband providers keep changing their offers all the time. If you have seen an advertisement somewhere, whether it is TV or media, do not presume that you will get the same offer. Always check the latest prices when you sign up. Better still, read what other people’s experiences are with the Internet service providers using broadband provider comparison sites.

Last, but not least, consider looking for a latest deal every time you renew your contract. There is a good chance that you might find a better ISP than your current one.

Different businesses of Verizon Communications Inc.

Verizon VoIP is an arm of Verizon Communications Inc, one of the leading providers of communications services in the US. The company s annual turnover is $71 billion and it has 214,000 employees on its rolls. The company invested more than $72 billion to maintain, upgrade and expand its technology infrastructure from mid-2000 to mid-2005.

The important businesses of Verizon are:

— Domestic Telecom, which provides customers with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband.

— Verizon Wireless, which owns and operates the nation’s most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million voice and data customers across the United States. The network is 100 percent digital, with 164 switching facilities and more than 23,000 cell sites nationwide.

— Information Services, which operate directory-publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services.

–. International Service, which include wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in America and Europe.

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Plans in VoiceWing of Verizon

VoiceWing offers only one residential, unlimited-minutes plan. It charges $34.95 a month, which is more than what its competitors charge for similar services. However, VoiceWing insists that it provides superior service as compared to most VoIP operators, and deserves to charge a higher rate.

This may be true but it is still difficult to justify the high cost they charge when an equally full-featured VoIP service is available for a lesser fee. Moreover, VoiceWing does not offer high voice-quality. There are complaints of a faint rustling sound that can be heard in the background during a call. The sound quality becomes worse when the customer tries to upload a file to the Web while carrying on the conversation. VoiceWing does not provide emergency 911 calling. Instead, it demands physical address upon registration. Hence, immediate service of the emergency personnel cannot be availed in case of emergency.

But all said and done VoiceWing has emerged as an important player in the market. Its market share will continue to increase thanks to the financial muscle of its parent company.

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Web interface and Billing system for VoiceWing

Verizon VoiceWing provides an easy-to-use web interface. One can sign in to see list of recent incoming, outgoing, and missed calls as well as voicemail messages. My Account or My Phone button on the interface can be used to add or adjust features.

Verizon also has unique billing system for VoiceWing. The flat monthly rate is charged to the credit card but in addition, the service sets up an Extra Services Account on sign-up. This account handles international long-distance calls and directory assistance charges, which the flat-rate monthly fee does not. Instead whenever the credit in this account falls below $2.50 VoiceWing debits a fixed sum from the customer s credit card.

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Installing Verizon VoiceWing

In order to compete in the crowded VoIP market, Verizon has come up with a residential VoIP service called Verizon VoiceWing. The service offers numerous easy-to-manage calling features plus low long-distance rates to West Europe and Asian countries.

A buyer of Verizon VoiceWing service is provided an adapter as part of the kit. Besides this, he is required to obtain a router. The installation process is simple, and consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Plug the adapter into an Ethernet port on the router
Step 2: Plug the phone into the adapter
Step 3: Reset the modem and allow the adapter to configure on its own.
Step 4: Turn on the phone to talk.

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Dashboard A unique feature in TotalTalk

A unique feature of the TotalTalk service is the dashboard. Customers can use the web-based dashboard to monitor the bill, see if their AIM/AOL friends are online and view the date and time when calls were made or received.

The dashboard also provides links to AOL White Pages, Yellow Pages and MapQuest. The customer can also glance at the number of e-mails and voicemails, and open them from the AOL inbox.

Another major plus point of TotalTalk is Triton, AOL’s next-generation IM client. This is integrated with TotalTalk as its softphone application, and extends AOL’s IM voice capability from PC-to-PC and from computers to landlines. AOL is also expected to launch another VoIP-related product called AIM Talk Plus. This is expected to make TotalTalk s service even more powerful.

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Plans with TotalTalk VoIP

TotalTalk VoIP by AOL, which is a successor to AOL Internet Phone, is an enhanced broadband phone service that provides facilities like Caller ID, E911, three-way calling and a Web-based dashboard for call and voicemail management. It allows customers to choose their numbers, and offers several value-added features at no extra charge.

TotalTalk offers three phone plans. A local monthly calling plan costs $13.99 for the first three months; after that the subscription fee rises to $18.99.a month A customer subscribing to this plan can make unlimited local and regional calls. The long-distance calls within USA and to Canada are priced at 4 cents a minute.

The customer can subscribe to a long-distance plan under which he can make unlimited calls. This plan costs $24.99-a-month for the first three months and then $29.99 a month.

The global plan costs $29.99 a month for the first three months. After that the cost goes up to $34.99 a month. This plan provides for unlimited long-distance calls and low overseas rates. For instance, a US caller can call Britain for 2 cents a minute.

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Remote office and other value addition to Speakeasy VoIP

Speakeasy also provides a remote office feature. This allows a customer to use the VoIP service from any phone, including a cell phone. The customer even has the option to take this phone with him when he is going out of the house, and make and receive calls.
However, the customer s adapter is configured to the DSL broadband line provided by Speakeasy. It will therefore not work with other broadband lines.

Speakeasy provides several value-added features to its customers. These include voice mail, call waiting, caller ID, reach me call me facility and call forwarding to international numbers. Most of these features can be installed by accessing the web portal of Speakeasy.

A special feature of Speakeasy services is that its VoIP phones support standard 911 and E-911 emergency dialing. This was one of the drawbacks of early generation VoIP phones. However, with Speakeasy this is not the problem.

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