The Benefits of Online Audio Conferencing -
Audio conferencing used to be limited to telephones and televisions. In that setting, one group would get together in one room and audio conference with another group, who are located in another room (and most likely in another city or country.) The two groups could hear each other, and in most cases, see and interact with each other's software.
Now, with the ubiquitous proliferation of the Internet, online audio and web conferencing is taking the place of telephone technology. With online audio conferencing, individual users can meet electronically. Each person is equipped with special headsets that have microphones and earphones and web cams for feeding their image to the rest of the participants. Also, computers involved in a web-conference can be networked so that the conference utilizes the full power of every computer. Users or 'seats' can send each other anything from documents to movies to sound files, and offer the material for modification.
Anyone can engage in audio and web conferencing. All you need is a computer, a current web browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, a phone, and an internet connection of 56 kbps or faster (that's 56 kilobytes per second 'your typical cable or DSL connection.) You then download and subscribe to any of a number of web conferencing software services, sometimes for as little as $0.15 per seat per minute.
A special Internet-supported phone system called VoIP can be used instead of a regular phone connection. This software program allows you to talk over the Internet as if it were a regular telephone, but without the massive long-distance charges of regular phones. You do have to buy a headset for this, but it's peanuts compared to long distance charges over time.
For additional fees, you can also add recording, archiving, registration, event planning, operator assistance, and more.
The benefits of online audio and web conferencing are immense. You save on long-distance phone time, travel expense, and time spent organizing the conference.