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  1. Plug in phone to wall with ethernet cable
  2. Someone calls a toll free number
  3. Your phone rings

What is the correct, vendor-neutral term for this service?

Some terms out there are:

  • Comcast calls the service "Phone"
  • 8x8 calls it "Hosted PBX" and "Virtual Phone"
  • AT&T calls it "VoIP Services".
  • Ooma calls it "Free Home Phone Service"
  • Jive calls it "Hosted VoIP"
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closed as off-topic by Katherine Villyard, TheCleaner, Jacob, Rex, Ward Apr 9 '14 at 22:30

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions must be relevant to professional system administration. Server Fault is dedicated to professional system and network administrators. End user and enthusiast questions are off-topic (contact your system administrator or hire a professional to help you out). Please see the Help Center for more information." – Katherine Villyard, TheCleaner, Jacob, Rex, Ward
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With a thriving ecosystem for resellers, Google SEO/CPC has been gamed so hard that it is impossible to get any information on telephony service through them. – Full Decent Apr 9 '14 at 17:20
... 4. Profit!!! – saltface Apr 9 '14 at 17:46
lol, nice @saltface – TheCleaner Apr 9 '14 at 18:49
@saltface for the phone company. Toll-free numbers are expensive :( – voretaq7 Apr 9 '14 at 18:51
@HopelessN00b sorry, I have included the research in the question. – Full Decent Apr 9 '14 at 21:29
up vote 6 down vote accepted

VOIP. Voice over IP. It requires quite a few more things to be configured than plugging a phone into ethernet, but that puts you in the neighborhood.

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and to be clear: for me as someone that want a phone bill and no servers in my office, is there a difference between VoIP, Hosted VoIP, virtual VoIP, cloud VoIP, or are all these the same thing? – Full Decent Apr 9 '14 at 21:30
Except for "VOIP", all of those are marketing terms and can mean whatever the vendor wants them to mean. If you're not an IT person and just want to make something work, hire an IT person or trust your vendors. – mfinni Apr 9 '14 at 21:32

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