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Frequently Asked Questions
- What is VoiceHost?
- What is VoIP?
- How does it work?
- Do I get a new number?
- Can I keep my old number?
- Can I have multiple handsets?
- Can I use my existing phone?
- Who can I call?
- Can I call peered providers?
- Can I make 999 emergency calls?
VoiceHost in an online communications company. Our aim is to provide internet telephone services for home and business users. We focus on providing a reliable service and customer needs.
Due to the ever changing demands on communication we believe that we should offer and develop services that our users request. Since internet telecommunications merges standard computers and communication systems we believe that both should become symbiotic. Allowing the two systems to interact seamlessly. As our services evolve we plan to deliver a solution that not only saves time and money, but to become a central focus for your communication and data handling. For example, we envisage companies being able to integrate our services with their own applications, or even use ours to manage their day to day business.
VoiceHost will evolve with your business!
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Basically this means converting your voice into information that can be carried over the internet. Due to the vast take-up of broadband internet more and more services can be provided using the additional download/upload speeds of your internet connection.
To use VoIP you must have a broadband internet connection and a means of converting analogue signals into digital. There are a number of ways of going about this, the first being a piece of software that is installed on your computer, this is normally called a softphone. A softphone uses your computers sound card and speakers or a headset and microphone to obtain and play back a phone call. In recent years many USB phones have also been produced to connect to your computer too. The second method and probably the best is a for of VoIP phone or adapter.
A VoIP phone/adapter connects to your internet router and connects to the VoiceHost service. The device manages the connection and any calls that are made using the device. Therefore a computer is not needed, just an internet connection. The differences between VoIP phones and adapters are that a VoIP phone is like a standard phone however it is digital and often offers additional features to that of a voip adapter.
A voip adapter connects to your internet router and then connects directly to the VoiceHost service. A voip adapter is ideal if you wish to connect your current analogue telephone to a voip service, many adapters now offer the ability to connect your current land line to the same phone as voip, allowing you to make calls on both the voip network and the standard analogue network.
Since VoIP uses the internet to make calls, call costs are often cheaper than those of traditional telephony. When a call is made using voip it is carried across the internet and then once it reaches its destination it is turned back into speech. If the person you are call is not on a VoIP service, your call will be passed to the traditional telephone network via the internet where you will be connected to the person you are calling.
VoIP can save you vast amounts of money compared to traditional telephony. For example if you have a VoiceHost account and a friend across the world has an account too the calls between the two accounts are free! Plus there is no monthly bills or contracts to sign.
In recent years the availability of Wi-fi networks has grown rapidly, since our service works over the internet it is now possible to make calls from any wi-fi hotspot. Be this while walking through a city, while sitting in a coffee shop or even from your hotel room.
Mobile phone manufacturers are now producing phones that also connect to Wi-fi hotspots and can connect your handset to VoiceHost allowing cheaper calls from your mobile.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a way to make phone calls using the internet as the transmission method, rather than a land line. You can make and receive calls from other VoIP users, mobile users, and people with ordinary land lines. The integration between any ordinary line and VoIP is complete and undetectable to callers. For further information, see our VoiceHost Guide.
To receive calls from the standard telephone network you do require a new number. However your current land line number will still work in the same way as before. Instead of replacing your existing line, VoiceHost in effect supply a virtual telephone line, so both voip and standard calls can be made simultaneously.
There are a few options for telephone numbers, by default you will be assigned a national number, which is not region specific. However if you require a local geographic number this is also possible, numbers are available for most locations throughout the UK and International numbers are also available.
If you wish to run a virtual office or just have a presence in another location in the UK this is also possible. For example if you run a business from outside of London, but wish to have a London telephone number this is easy to setup with VoiceHost.
You can keep your old number by porting the number to VoiceHost.
Number porting is the process of moving a telephone number from one provider to another. It is possible to fully convert to VoIP whilst retaining your current land line telephone number.
What numbers can I port?
We can currently port most geographic numbers (i.e: 01 and 02) from BT and a limited number of other VoIP providers. We cannot port numbers from NTL/Telewest or Virgin Media at present.
How do I request a number port?
Start by contacting your current telecom's provider and advising them of what you intend to do. You must raise a support ticket on your VoiceHost account with full details of the number to be ported. We must also see a copy of the most recent bill for the number, and you must sign a porting authority form which we will provide.
There is currently a £25 + VAT fee for porting a single line number, a multi-line port is charged at £50 + VAT. We reserve the right to pass on to you any other fees or costs we incur during the process. These fees are non-refundable, even if the porting process is unsuccessful.
We will begin the porting process when we have received a copy of your bill, the porting fee, and the signed porting authority form.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your old provider stops billing you.Porting timescale:
The process can vary depending on how quickly we receive all the correct documentation and agreement from your current telecom's provider. Between 7 and 14 days is usual, but exceptional circumstances may delay the process.
There will be a short period of downtime when the actual port occurs. We are unable to guarantee when this will be. Also, calling the number from different networks during the port may give unpredictable results, with some calls being routed to the old provider and some calls coming through to our systems.
Other services on a BT line may be affected:
If you have other services on a BT line, such as (but not limited to) ADSL or RedCare, porting the number away may cease those services, and you may need to pay additional charges to get them reconnected.
You will also lose access to any services provided by your old telecom's provider, such as voicemail. However, following the completion of the port, the full range of VoiceHost services will be available to you.
Fax and data services:
Fax machines will usually work on a VoIP line as long as your ISP provides a good quality connection, but they tend to negotiate down to lower speeds than on a conventional analogue line. We don't generally recommend porting numbers for use with fax machines or modems.
Porting a number back out:
If you are not happy with our service after porting a number in, you can port back out. This requires full cooperation of the original telecom's provider to accept the number back onto their systems. If you are in doubt, check with them before porting the number into us. Porting away from VoiceHost dose not incur any fees.
To start the porting process, please download the porting request document using one of the links below. Please fill out the form and fax it to 0345 561 0 561 or return it by post. Please include a copy of your most recent bill from your current provider.
If you are using VoIP telephones, you can have multiple extensions in your VoiceHost account. You can configure preferences for each phone from the VoiceHost control panel.
You can have a direct line number to each handset or have one number call all phones. You can even transfer calls between phones and make calls between extensions easily.
If you are using analogue phones with a VoIP adapter you can plug in multiple phones to a maximum of 3 ren. If you have a DECT system, you may be able to connect more phones.
If you currently have a VoIP phone or adapter you can use this with VoiceHost, however if you have a standard landline phone, with a BT style plug you will need a VoIP adapter. VoIP adapters connect your standard analogue phone to the internet and convert the analogue signals produced by you analogue phone into a digital signal that can be send over the internet.
There are a variety of adapters that have different features. Some VoIP adapters are built into routers, some connect directly to your network. Many VoIP adapters also allow you to connect your current line allowing you to use both lines to make calls with a single phone.
VoiceHost have tested and recommend the following adapters:
- Linksys SPA-2102 - This adapter allows you to connect up to two lines that can be configured using different extensions or accounts. For example, you could use one line for home and the other for business.
- AVM Fritz! Box - These ADSL2+ routers allow you to connect your internet connection, computer and telephones to a single device that will handel telephone calls as well as your broadband connection.
VoiceHost allows you to call any standard telephone or mobile network, be this in the UK or anywhere in the world. Also calls can be made between any VoiceHost user and any peered VoIP network.
So in short you can call almost anyone in the world, it is not possible to call 090 premium rate numbers due to fraud.
NB: Calls to emergency services are also possible. (see can i make 999 calls?)
In order to dial another SIP/VoIP provider, you must type 275, followed by the providers short code, and then their extension. This means that if you dial, for example, 275*350 followed by the users extension, this will patch the call through to the VoIPFone network.
A list of different shortcuts are below. Please let us know if you need to contact any providers we haven't listed and we'll add a shortcut.
If you can not find the network you require, please see the 'provider white pages'.
All VoiceHost customers can call 999/112 as soon as they register for an account. Upon successful registration, addressing information is sent to the Emergency Services database to help locate you in an emergency.
The information you provide can be vitally important if you or your visitors need to contact the emergency services, especially if you are unable to speak. Therefore we recommend you keep your information up-to-date and as accurate as possible. If you are using our Virtual PBX, we understand that you may have phones in different locations, therefore each telephone number can have a different address associated to it and each extension has the ability to send a specific number when calling 999 even if this is not the number you wish to display when making standard outgoing calls. By providing this unique feature we feel that the most accurate location data can be obtained by the emergency operators.
Our systems automatically update the 999 location database five times per day with two way data validation. Therefore we can keep the emergency services database up-to-date for when you need it most.
Where you use the VoiceHost service in a fully nomadic manner , for example on a mobile phone or a softphone on a laptop it is not technically feasible to set the address of every location that you use the service from. In such cases you should be aware that the emergency operator will NOT know your location and you must provide this information to them verbally.
Please also remember, 999 calls are not possible when you are not connected to the VoiceHost service, there is a power failure or your connection to the internet is unavailable. You should always make sure there is a way to call 999, we recommend a standard corded telephone plugged into a land-line or a mobile phone.
It should also be remembered that in the case of a power failure, an ordinary DECT, wireless phone or Office PBX will also fail to work.