It isn't hard finding books about voice over IP (voip) phone systems. You can find ones that explain how to evaluate packet switched voice quality, some that explore the architecture of voip, and even a few that cover security concerns for converged voice and data networks. But coming up with books aimed at the residential voip market is a lot like looking for that needle in the haystack.
If you're not wild about sifting through hundreds of technical tomes before finding the one you need, check out our top ten list of the best voip books for average consumers:
1. Voip for Dummies, by Timothy V. Kelly. What list would be complete without a Dummies book? Inexpensive and written in the clear, engagingly readable signature style Dummies fans have come to expect, this one breaks down the mysteries of voip and converts them into small, easily digestible packets. Topics covered include the use of voip for both home and business networks, using voip over a wireless network, understanding the pros and con of voip, and how to explain to management why voip's a good choice.
2. Voip Made Easy, by Bill Stuckey. Billed as the "ideal introduction to internet telephony," Stuckey's thorough treatment of voip takes readers from a highly simplified understanding of voice over IP fundamentals, to more complicated aspects, like how voip fits into the business picture and what the future holds for voip technology.
3. Cut the Cord! The Consumer's Guide to Voip, by Jerri L. Ledford. A practical and no-nonsense guide to making the switch from traditional phone service to voip. Ledfords book is full of useful tips, checklists, and online resources.
4. Internet Phone Services Simplified (voip), by Jim Doherty and Neill Anderson, arms readers with the "most basic need-to-know" information and then helps them learn to get the most out of their voip phone's versatility. Veering away from a highly technical approach, this book has full-color illustrations, step-by-step instructions, and all the hand-holding you could possibly need.
5. How to Do Everything with Voip, by Steven Shepard. Slated to hit the shelves February 2007, Shepard's volume is part of the Mcgraw-Hill How to Do Everything juggernaut and looks at everything from how voip works, to saving money and deciding if voip will work for your business or home office.
6. Fire the Phone Company, a Handy Guide to Voice Over IP, by David Field, has a one-track mission to demystify the techno babble surrounding voip and make it accessible to the average consumer. Translated into layman's terms, Field's book draws readers in with real-world stories and a refreshingly honest voice.
7. VoIP Hacks: tips & tools for Internet Telephony (Hacks), by Ted Wallingford sounds like you might be getting into something shady, but in this context, hack refers to tweaking voip so it works better for your network's needs. This DIY-style book is full of projects and practical ideas for customizing voip to your particular situation. Some of featured hacks include smoothing out typical problems during voip rollouts, ways to use IP hard phones and VoIP Internet phone adapters, and strategies for securing voip networks.
8. Voice Over IP: First-Step, by Kevin Wallace operates on the assumption that readers have no prior IP telephony experience to draw on. Using clear-cut explanations in simple language, First-Step introduces voip in a way that anyone can understand. At the end of the book, readers will understand how voice and data networks can be merged, ways voip saves them money, and how voip fits into their personal telephony needs.
9. Talk is Cheap, Switching to Internet Telephones, by James E. Gaskin. A no-holds barred look at making the switch from traditional phone service to voip; the good, the bad, and everything in-between. Talk is Cheap answers all the questions you were afraid to ask about the pitfalls and tradeoffs of moving to voip. You'll also discover the benefits, allowing you to make a truly informed telephony decision.
10. Voice Over Crash Course, by Steven Shepard, offers one-stop shopping for all your voip information needs. Featuring actual voip implementation case studies and practical methods for assessing your network's readiness and suitability for voip, Crash Course doesn't skimp on the fundamentals or sugarcoat the decision making process.
No matter which book you choose from this list, you'll find highly accessible information that tells you exactly what you need to know, so pick one up today and find out if voip can work for you.