What is VoIP?

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VoIP

VoIP, short for Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a digital phone service that transmits voice over the internet instead of over traditional analog telephone lines.

VoIP is convenient, cheap, and comes with great features. If you are paying for landline phone service or traditional PBX service, you should consider a VoIP phone service. If you have a high-speed Internet connection, you are the perfect candidate for VoIP phone service.

VoIP phone service has come a long way in a very short time and is growing in popularity with both residential and business consumers. Reducing costs is a top priority for many consumers, especially in today’s global economic climate, and a VoIP phone plan can help you significantly reduce your monthly phone bill.

Of course, you should see for yourself how VoIP can meet your needs. VoIP comes in a few different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to know what’s best for you. Read below for more detailed information on VoIP phone service.

How Does VoIP Work?

VoIP is an innovative way to make cheap phone calls

VoIP phone service (Voice over IP; also known as digital phone service, digital telephony, or broadband phone) replaces your phone line with a high-speed Internet connection. It’s that simple.

While traditional telephone service compresses your voice into a frequency on a wire, VoIP compresses the sound of your voice into packets of data. These compressed data packets are then sent over the Internet. When the data reaches the final destination, it is converted back to sound. If use VoIP to call someone on the traditional phone network (the “PSTN” or Public Switched Telephone Network), the VoIP call is converted to sound once it reaches the network and the call is routed normally. The difference is that you’ve paid a lot less for that call by using a VoIP service provider.

If you’re a visual learner, the diagram to the right will help to show you how VoIP calls are routed. The most typical call path is phone-to-phone, which you can trace in the diagram from the Conventional Telephone to The Real World. This is what your call path will look like when it’s routed by a VoIP company to the PSTN.

A Technical Overview of VoIP

Uncovering the technical side of VoIP

Many years ago it was discovered that sending a signal to a remote destination could be done in a digital fashion: before sending it we have to digitalize it with an ADC (analog to digital converter), transmit it, and at the end transform it again in analog format with DAC (digital to analog converter) to use it.

This is how VoIP phone works by converting your voice into data packets, sending them, and then reassembling them into sound at their destination.

Digital format can be better controlled. We can compress, route, and convert it to a better format, and so on. Also, we saw that a digital signal is more noise tolerant than an analog signal.

TCP and IP networks are made of IP packets containing a header (to control communication) and a payload to transport data. VoIP uses the header to navigate the network to its destination. The payload carries bits of the conversation.

What are the advantages to using VoIP rather than the Public Switched Telephone Network (or more commonly, the phone company)?

When you are using a PSTN line, you typically pay a line manager company for the time used. The more time you talk, the more you’ll pay. In addition, you will probably not have the option of speaking with more than one person at a time.

In contrast, VoIP Services allow you to talk as long as you would like with multiple people (other people may also need to be connected to the Internet) as far away as you want for free or for a fraction of the PSTN cost. You can also browse the Internet at the same time; sending images, graphs, and videos to the people you are talking with.