Why Is VoIP Not A total Replacement For Normal Phones?
The reason why many people, including big VoIP firms, will tell you that it is not a complete telephony replacement comes down to emergency situations. VoIP is not as easily traceable as normal telephony services, and so will not always work well with emergency numbers such as 911. Steps are being taken to rectify this, but don't bet your life on it (literally).
Also, VoIP is dependent on power and Internet access to work, while normal telephony services are not. In many emergency situations, your Internet connection and electrical service may not be available, or you may not have the time to wait for a computer to boot up to make an emergency call. Therefore, it is always advisable to have a traditional phone around as a backup.
Other reasons why VoIP hasn't replaced traditional telephony are the hassle of dealing with multiple providers when something goes wrong. This often results in a finger-pointing exercise between hardware and software companies, which can be very frustrating, especially for non-technical users.
Another issue is that, unbelievably, U.S. satellite TV providers DirecTV and Dish networks still require their boxes to "phone home" via dial-up modem. As you might imagine, running a dial-up modem connection over a VoIP circuit often doesn't work very well. (It's also a very roundabout way of using a broadband connection!)
VoIP is the way forward, but the biggest barrier to its goal of world domination is a lack of knowledge on the part of consumers. We hope that this brief FAQ will answer your fundamental questions, and enable you to go forward armed with the knowledge needed to get on the VoIP bandwagon.
If you have any more questions, just click on the Discuss link below and feel free to ask away. We don't doubt that this is a topic we'll be coming back to regularly in the future; in fact, we intend to publish an overview on VoIP for business users later this month. Stay tuned!