The Ultimate Guide to VoIP on a Mac

VoIP on a Mac
VoIP use is estimated to grow to 32.6 million users by 2010, an estimate that proves VoIP’s growing popularity. Despite the VoIP growth, there seems to be a real PC bias to the technology and programs that make the most of VoIP – that is, until the past few years. It seems VoIP providers are finally starting to realize the untapped market in ever tech-hungry Mac users. Software and hardware is out there for VoIP on the Mac if you know where to look, and some VoIP has even become unabashedly Mac specific. Unsure where to begin? Here are some tips and advice on getting VoIP for your Mac.

Macs have a reputation for being more secure than Windows online when it comes to outside threats, and that may be true; but that’s no reason to get sloppy about securing your VoIP and taking additional steps to make sure you’re not vulnerable. As VoIP becomes ever more popular, the amount of predators who see it as an easy way to take advantage of unsuspecting users will increase. VoIP can be vulnerable to a number of threats, some allowing your calls to be eavesdropped on and some, like SPIT attacks, that can clog up your VoIP connection much like spam can clog up your inbox..

While there’s no such thing as bulletproof VoIP, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself. Since VoIP calls travel over an Internet connection, sensitive calls, much like sensitive e-mails should be encrypted. Perhaps the simplest way of encrypting your information – one that requires no advanced technical knowledge – is to use a program called Zfone. Zfone is a free program that encrypts and decrypts your VoIP calls on the fly, ensuring that your confidential information will stay confidential. Mac users will be pleased by the program’s design, which features the sleek and simple silver design found in other Mac applications.

Aside from encryption, you’ll also want to protect your VoIP from SPIT attacks. Though these attacks exist only in theory thus far, the thought of getting flooded with hundreds of calls from telemarketers should drive you to prevent them in advance. Most SPIT can be filtered out through the use of a VoIP firewall like the one offered by Borderware or by using a program like VoIPSEAL. Some VoIP clients like Vonage and Skype have built in systems that can filter out a majority of the SPIT before it ever reaches your phone.