Best Review Guide / Articles / Services / VoIP / What is VOIP?

What is VOIP?

Cristina Avatar By: Cristina | Last updated April 14, 2020

headset headphones on computer keyboard voip services

VOIP has definitely improved the way people communicate with each other. From residential to business use, VOIP offers a wide range of capabilities that were not possible with traditional systems. With VOIP, computer to computer, computer to landline, or computer to cell phone calls can be made.

What does VoIP stand for?

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. This technology allows people to place a voice call using an internet connection instead of a regular phone line by converting an analog audio signal into a digital signal that is transmitted through the internet. 

To better understand what VOIP is, it is important to know how traditional phones work. With a typical landline call, a person has to pick up the phone, listen to a dial tone, and talk. However, there are a lot of things happening while a person is waiting for the other side to answer. The call actually goes through a lot of physical switches, through wires that compose the public switched telephone network. As people talk through a regular call, the line remains open, wasting some data. This mechanism is called circuit switching.

Instead of using circuit switching, VOIP uses packet switching, which breaks the call into small packets of data, and transmits them through the internet. Packet switching also does not require physical wires. As people talk through a VOIP call, data is transmitted back and forth in real time, without wasting any data. For these reasons, VOIP calls become more efficient compared to regular phone calls.

How can you use VoIP?

VOIP calls can be placed through a computer, special VOIP phone, and a regular phone with a VOIP adapter. Features such as call conferencing, call transfer, call forwarding, and voicemail are also available in a VOIP system.

Some VOIP service providers allow people to only call those using the same service, while other providers let people call anyone who has a phone number (mobile, local, long distance, and international).

Having a VOIP service is very useful because it lets people make phone calls for a very low cost. Distance does not matter because a person can call another person from the other side of the world with an optimal voice quality as long as the internet connection is great.

Advantages of switching to VoIP

Installing and maintaining a VOIP system is also more affordable compared to a regular phone line because VOIP works through an internet connection, which means that a person or a business only have to pay one internet bill.

Unlike a regular phone line, the number of phone lines which can be added to a VOIP network is not limited. Hundreds of connections can be added to the network, depending on the bandwidth, which makes VOIP ideal for call centers and other big businesses.

VOIP systems can also be integrated to other applications, making it easier for data to be recorded and calls to be transcribed.

With an increasing demand for more efficient and more affordable ways to communicate globally, having a VOIP service would be very useful for residences, businesses, and governments.