The following Glossary in no way covers all the new language and acronyms that are associated with VoIP technologies, but it may get you a step closer to understanding some of the jargon you may encounter.
Aalogue Terminal Adaptor is a small device that enables your standard telephone to make and receive calls over your broadband Internet connection. It's simple to use and plugs directly in to your broadband router and your normal analogue phone. ATAs are often sold combined with routers.
Dial-up Internet technologies require a phone call to connect you to the internet. When you finish your session the connection is terminated. An always-on service means the connection to the Internet remains open all day every day. This type of service is usually charged at a flat rate per month. You will also need a piece of equipment called a router to manage your connection.
In relation to VoIP analogue refers to pre-digital phones and systems. Virtually all new phones are digital, although many can also use analogue networks.
Identifies and directs your phone number to a specific country or region.
ATA : Analogue Telephone Adaptor
This is a small device that enables your standard telephone to make and receive calls over your broadband Internet connection. It's simple to use and plugs directly in to your broadband router and your normal analogue phone. ATAs are often sold combined with routers.
Bandwidth gives you an indication of the speed capabilities of your broadband connection. This speed is measured in kilobits per second (Kbps). To give you an idea: old dial-up modems have a maximum data rate of 56 Kbps. Broadband services begin with data speeds of 512 Kbps. So even at the lower end of the scale you can see how much faster broadband is. If you see a 2 Mbps connection advertised this means it is 2000 Kbps. These speeds cannot be guaranteed as your connection will more than likely be shared with other people. You can learn more about this in the section called contention ratio.
Broadband is high-speed Internet access that you access through a cable or DSL modem. It has a continuous connection to the Internet at much faster speeds than dial-up.
A phone service feature that allows the user to forward a phone call to another phone number. For example, you can forward your home phone number to your mobile number so you never miss a call.
Caller ID ( or CLI : Calling Line Identification)
This transmits a callers number during the ringing signal.
These are detailed call records. With Blueface you can view these on line by logging in to your account. They contain information on call: duration, destination, origination and price.
Call waiting puts your first call on hold while you answer the second. While you are on the phone a beep tone alerts you to another incoming call. You can then put your first call on hold and take the second call. Any calls that you do not choose to take will go to your voice mail.
Congestion occurs when there is too much traffic on the Internet or a specific site. This slows all webpage requests down and causes delays in downloading files and viewing information.
When you have a broadband connection there is a connection path between you and the Internet Service Provider. This connection path that carries data is referred to as contention. Many users will be using the same connection so when service providers quote a contention ratio of say 50:1 this means 50 other users will be using the same connection as you.
This could effect you at peak usage times as the connection could become congested. Normally however you can expect this not to have a significant impact on your connection and broadband speed.
Downloading information is usually used to describe transferring information/data from the Internet. When you download a file like an email or web page it copies from a remote computer to your computer.
DTMF (dual tone multi frequency) is the signal or noise the phone keypad makes when you press the touch keys. When you press a key it generates two specific frequencies so a voice cannot imitate the tones. These tones are used for signalling the telephone exchange.
A method of networking computers in a local area network (LAN).
This is a cable used in networking computers it can carry data like basic voice services and connect your computer to a router to access the Internet.
Blueface uses GUIs for it's ToolBox and Conferencing. It is a computer interface that uses icons or pictures to help users navigate and control both services.
HTML is the programming language used to create documents for display on the World Wide Web.
HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol
Is the set of rules and standards that govern how information is transmitted on the World Wide Web.
A provider of internet access. This can be for broadband or dial-up.
A local area network is a computer network covering a local area, like a home, office or small group of buildings such as a college or hospital.
A modem is a device for sending computer data over a voice phone line.
MB - Megabyte
Is a unit of measurement used to describe data. 1MB is 1,000KB (Kilobytes).
1MB is 1,048,576 bytes to be exact but is often rounded off to 1,000,000 bytes.
An average length MP3 music file would be about 4MB. A standard photo taken with a 7 Mega Pixel camera would be 1-1.5MB. A standard 3 page text only Word document would be about .08MB or 80KB.
Mbps - Megabits per second
A measurement of data transmission speed in a communication system: the number of megabits transmitted or received each second.
Two or more computers that are connected so users can share files and devices (for example, printers, servers, and storage devices).
Mail programs usually require you to enter this information when you are setting up an email account. POP is the set of rules and standards that govern the retrieval of email messages from a mail server.
Power-cycle is a euphemism for asking you to switch off a device and switch it back on again.
QOS ensures the quality of your voice calls even when your broadband connection is being used for other items like downloading music or surfing the web. QOS always retains a specific amount of your bandwidth for voice calls so you can talk without any interruption or interference.
Is a term used to describe restarting your computer and operating system.
Is a piece of hardware that directs information to your computer this is what connects you to an Internet service provider for Internet access.
Is software installed on your computer that enables the use of VoIP without any hardware. You will need a headset or microphone and headphones to make phone calls. It allows you to make and receive phone calls without having a traditional home phone.
Uploading information is used to describe transferring data form your computer to the Internet or another remote computer.
Your phone calls are diverted to voicemail when you're unavailable. You can use Blueface's ToolBox to manage your voicemail.
VoIP : Voice Over Internet Protocol
In basic terms VoIP enables people to use the Internet as a transmission medium for telephone calls. It is sometimes referred to as IP Telephony or Internet telephony, which is the same thing as broadband phone. Both involve sending voice calls over a digital computer network.
A wide area network is a variety of computer networks connected together and covering a very large geographic area.
WiFi - Wireless Fidelity
Refers to products that can connect to each other without wires. These can include routers, laptops and PDAs.
Also referred to as The Web, it is a branch of the Internet which uses text, images, video and other elements to provide information on any topic you can imagine.