Vonage is a voice over Internet (VoIP) service provider that offers inexpensive flat-rate plans within the United States and Canada, as well as low-cost per-minute calling to other areas of the world. Once the equipment has been installed, the Vonage service works transparently so that it seems to the user much like the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN). You use your telephone to call people; people call you at your usual phone number; your phone rings, and you pick up the handset to answer. Familiar telecom services, such as caller identification and call waiting and forwarding, are provided free of charge.
When a customer signs up for a service package, Vonage sends them an analog telephone adapter to connect their telephone to their computer or a network device, the cabling required for installation, and instructions for typical configurations. As an additional feature, Vonage offers a softphone application that can substitute for an actual telephone. The softphone provides an onscreen display that the user can interact with, for example, while connecting through a laptop and using a headset in place of a telephone.
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