Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a method for the transmission of voice signals and audio session over Internet Protocol networks, like the Internet. It differs from traditional telephone communication in that calls are not transmitted via a public switched telephone network (PSTN). The VoIP service is provided by network providers, who also serve as gateways between IP networks and the rest of the world. VoIP providers can either be fixed landline services or mobile phone carriers. VoIP telephony services allow users to make local as well as long distance calls at a much cheaper cost.
Unlike regular phone systems,
VoIP telephony does not require specific equipment and does not demand phone numbers. All that is needed is a microphone and a computer with an Internet connection. Users can make free local or long distance calls, as well as conference calls, using any microphone and computer with an Internet connection. They do not need additional hardware or software, and most features are already installed on the user’s computer.
Today’s modern world has provided us with so many new conveniences and benefits that we tend to take them for granted. For some people, however, these conveniences and benefits are still somewhat abstract. VoIP technology is now playing a major role in the communications industry and has become the industry standard in digital voice communications. Many businesses are adopting or designing business VoIP systems, and even small businesses are taking advantage of VoIP to provide their employees with highly cost effective communications.
There are two basic ways in which VoIP telephony works.
General-purpose connections that use voice or video codecs to transfer voice traffic are called IP packets. Another way in which VoIP telephony functions is through the usage of digital bare copper wiring, which has similar characteristics to fiber-optic wiring but have greater bandwidth, and provides much faster data transfer rates. Some of the advantages of IP telephony over traditional phone service are speed, ease of deployment, lower cost than traditional phone services, security, reliability, and more. In addition, some businesses are using VoIP technology to replace analog phones with internet protocol enabled computer devices such as Blackberries and laptops, which offer employees higher levels of telecommunication efficiency.
The IP packets of VoIP telephony work like voice signals, except instead of transferring data from one destination to another, they transfer voice signals. In order to send a voice signal over an IP network, the sender uses a special device, called an adapter, which captures and transmits the voice signals in digital format. The transmitted voice signals are then converted into data that can be understood by computers and other IP-enabled devices. When the data is received, it is decoded into normal analog signals and sound using what is known as digital transmitters.
To make this possible, the IP telephony system must contain at least one network interface card or gateway. Such devices are usually referred to as IP telephone servers. Such servers can allow users of VoIP telephony to make calls to each other and to process voice communications on their personal computers. Users can then use standard, analog phones to make telephone calls to each other, as well as to process voice communications over the IP telephony system. There are other benefits as well, such as portability, ease of deployment, reliability, and security.
The features of VoIP telephony include features such as call forwarding, three-way conferencing, extension dialing, call waiting, night, and weekend call waiting, auto attendant, call forwarding, call rejection, automatic redial, call waiting, caller ID, call blocking, call forwarding, speed dialing, text-to-speech capability, two-way conference calling, and more. It is considered by many to be the future of long-distance phone communications. It is especially popular among small businesses. Many consumers are becoming increasingly interested in IP-based voice and video conferencing. The fact that this technology is available for a low cost makes it appealing to many consumers. And, it has made international long-distance phone calls much more accessible, because it can enable users located all over the world to connect to one another using a high-speed Internet connection.
- If you’re thinking about switching your traditional telephony services to VoIP technology, you may be thinking about making some upgrades to your office equipment.
- While this is an option, you should be careful that you don’t replace your existing equipment with overly expensive VoIP equipment.
- This kind of transaction could be viewed negatively by the telecommunications industry and even by your customers.
- For this reason, it is best if you simply look into the feasibility of using VoIP for your business needs before making any decisions.