What is VOIP ?
An acronym for “Voice Over Internet Protocol.” This technology allows a user to make phone calls (with potential video) via a computer with an Internet connection or a wireless-enabled mobile device. The most famous example of a VOIP provider is Skype.
If you have a reasonable quality Internet connection you can get phone service delivered through your Internet connection instead of from your local phone company.
Some people use VOIP in addition to their traditional phone service, since Voice Over Internet Protocol service providers usually offer lower rates than traditional phone companies, but sometimes doesn’t offer 911 service, phone directory listings, 411 service, or other common phone services. While many VoIP providers offer these services, consistent industry-wide means of offering these are still developing.
How does Voice Over Internet Protocol work?
A way is required to turn analog phone signals into digital signals that can be sent over the Internet.
This function can either be included into the phone itself , or in a separate box like an ATA .
Voice Over Internet Protocol Using an ATA
Ordinary Phone —- ATA —- Ethernet —- Router —- Internet —- VOIP Service Provider
Voice Over Internet Protocol using an IP Phone
IP Phone —– Ethernet —– Router —- Internet —- VOIP Service Provider
Voice Over Internet Protocol connecting directly
It is possible to bypass a Voice Over Internet Protocol Service Provider and directly connect to another Voice Over Internet Protocol user. However, if the VOIP devices are behind NAT routers, there may be problems with this approach.
IP Phone —– Ethernet —– Router —- Internet —- Router —- Ethernet —- IP Phone
Applications using Voice Over Internet Protocol
Traditional telephony applications, such as outbound call center applications and inbound IVR applications, normally can be run on VOIP.
There are several Voice Over Internet Protocol phone systems available on the market including, one example being 3CX which is a software-based VoIP PBX for Windows, Linux and the cloud. For a comprehensive list of solutions visit Voice Over Internet Protocol PBX and Servers.
Why use Voice Over Internet Protocol?
There are two major reasons to use VOIP
- Lower Cost
- Increased functionality
In general phone service via Voice Over Internet Protocol costs less than equivalent service from traditional sources. This is largely a function of traditional phone services either being monopolies or government entities. There are also some cost savings due to using a single network to carry voice and data. This is especially true when users have existing under-utilized network capacity that they can use for Voice Over Internet Protocol without any additional costs.
In the most extreme case, users see VOIP phone calls (even international) as FREE. While there is a cost for their Internet service, using VOIP over this service may not involve any extra charges, so the users view the calls as free. There are several services that have sprung up to facilitate this type of “free” VOIP call. Examples are: Free World Dialup and Skype for a more complete list see: VOIP Service Providers
Voice Over Internet Protocol makes easy some things that are difficult to impossible with traditional phone networks.
- Incoming phone calls are automatically routed to your VOIP phone where ever you plug it into the network. Take your VOIP phone with you on a trip, and anywhere you connect it to the Internet, you can receive your incoming calls.
- Call center agents using VOIP phones can easily work from anywhere with a good Internet connection.
Conclusion« Back to Glossary Index