VoIP refers to voice over IP or voice over Internet protocol technology, which can be used in PBX or private branch exchange deployments. When combined, you get an IP or VoIP PBX phone system. Today, VoIP PBX phone systems represent telephony in its most efficient form. This is especially true for businesses that require advanced features to monitor their communications. But what about the rest of us?A small list of IP PBX features include: call forwarding and routing, do not disturb, caller ID, conferencing, as well some rather advanced features like caller ID blocking, ADSI on screen menu system, database integration, automated attendants, call monitoring and distributed universal numbers. Distributed universal numbers are like toll free numbers in that they help to extend the reach of the business to a larger client base, which can be advantageous for the business.A number of service providers like Jangl help to provide this service for consumers. These networks bring people together with free virtual telephone numbers. Email integration is often provided in conjunction with VoIP and free virtual numbers. The most important implication of this technology is that the real identity (the real phone number and contact information) of the user is kept secret, and only the virtual contact information is actually provided.You can think of these services like toll free numbers for individuals. With Jangl, users simply input their phone number and the service gives them a button that they can then put on their blog or personal social networking page. Site visitors can call the person without ever getting access to the users real number. Services like Jangl also include personal administrative interfaces that allow you to manage contacts, and check voicemails. Many of these features mirror what is currently being done in business VoIP implementations.As time goes on, its clear that web based VoIP applications are not just for businesses. Everyday consumers like you or I can easily take advantage of these services, and the best part of it all is that these apps are usually free. Businesses and consumers alike can expect many more features from VoIP services in the near future.