Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is an innovative new way to communicate and interact with others using either a traditional telephone or a computer. Voice over Internet Protocol telephony is simply the use of broadband Internet connections to make telephone calls. It differs from traditional telephony in that it uses the Internet to make phone calls instead of using traditional telephone lines. This eliminates the need to change service providers each time you want to switch carriers.
These days, it is difficult to find a company that is not using some form of VoIP technology.
Consumers use their computers for virtually everything, including banking and business tasks. Businesses have realized the value of VoIP and are using it in conjunction with their telephone service. VoIP solutions provide unified communications services that work across multiple communication networks, including the Internet, local, and wireless, and can incorporate a wide variety of communication protocols. There are three basic components to a VoIP system.
Voice over internet protocol is simply the transmission of sound and speech through an Internet connection. Unlike regular voice communication, you do not need a dedicated phone line for making phone calls. Instead, all VoIP systems provide a standard connection to the internet, which allows you to make voice calls using a computer. VoIP services usually include audio codecs for delivering voice over the internet protocol (IP), as well as a converter device that convert voice signals into digital information that can be sent over the internet.
VoIP phones are simply devices that allow you to make phone calls using your computer as if it were a traditional telephone. VoIP phones work just like any other VoIP service, with the addition of an IP number. The number connects the device to the IP network. Typically, there is an IP phone adapter that connects to the user’s existing phone jack, but this may also be provided by the VoIP service provider.
- A VoIP service provider may bundle a variety of components for your convenience.
- For example, some providers offer an adapter for DSL or cable connections, so you can use your existing wires for your VoIP telephony needs.
- This eliminates the need to install additional hardware.
- Other providers have packages available that include an adapter for ATA and ASD lines.
VoIP also offers a way to make free instant messaging (IM) and voice calls to a global audience. There is no requirement to buy long distance minutes or CDMA carriers for making a domestic or international call. You can send unlimited messages and calls to any part of the globe at a lower cost than conventional methods, depending on the type of service you select. Additionally, if you are on a business trip and would like to make a domestic or international phone call, most VoIP providers will convert your VOIP phone call to a PC-to-PC voice call, which is much less expensive than having a headset and adapter with a headset. The conversion also enables you to utilize the Internet for other regular functions while you are abroad.
The VoIP technology can also be utilized for implementing a hosted voice over internet protocol (VoIP) solution. With these services, a single computer is used to manage all the servers and applications for an entire network. This makes for a unified infrastructure and greatly reduces maintenance and operational costs. There are many companies providing hosted VoIP services, but many providers are based in the US. For users resident in other countries, there are specialized softphones that can be connected to a local area network (LAN) using the Wi-Fi technology on your laptop, mobile phone, or other Internet-connected device.
There are benefits to switching to VoIP services.
The switch to VoIP does not require you to change your business IP data network configuration, as it can continue to use the same configuration for your voice and data traffic. You do need to upgrade the hardware devices that provide connections to the rest of the network. It is also recommended that you hire a professional who can install and configure your corporate IP data network infrastructure. The best provider will offer advanced routing and traffic management features for managing VoIP traffic, along with various types of packet routing. This will help you reduce your operational costs while still maintaining peak performance and making sure that all your calls are answered promptly.