Dial I for IP

Pity the telephone, the thick-skulled Neanderthal of the digital world. It plods along on its own isolated branch of the evolutionary tree, without an Ethernet jack or an IP address to call its own. But VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is about to change all that. VoIP devices such as those from E-tel Corp. (www.e-telcorp.com), IPStarPhone (www.ipstarphone.com), and Super Phone (www.super-phone.com) transform your voice into Internet-compatible data that can be shuttled to any standards-compliant device on the planet -- all without phone-company fees or analog circuitry. VoIP phones require a high-bandwidth connection, but that primitive chunk of plastic on your desk is finally ready to step into the modern world.

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