What is VoIP and how does it work?
“VoIP” stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. The simplest definition can be taken from the name: sending and receiving voice data, or phone calls, over the internet.
For this article, we really don’t need too concerned with the “protocol” part. A “protocol” is simply a set of rules that must be followed if all of the different parts are going to work together. Our browsers use the set of protocol rules under the “http” category, or hyper text transfer protocol. There are lots of different protocols and ways they can be used but the one we’re most interested in is the voice protocol.
There were no rules for the original copper wire that was used to send and receive the first telegraph communications in the early 1700’s. Ones and zeroes have taken over the dots and dashes. Satellites and fiber optics are helping to connect more of the world through the internet. Moving from a traditional land line phone to a VoIP phone really provides you an opportunity to break free of the restrictive phone companies and gain more control and more freedom by transmitting your phone calls over the internet.
Behind the scenes there is a tremendous amount of data and technology at work making phone calls over the internet possible. Here is a brief overview of what you may need to take advantage of VoIP phone service:
Internet connection – You will need a high-speed or broadband internet connection that can handle the addition of voice data, along with normal internet traffic. This will ensure the best call quality at all times. Read more about how much bandwidth you may need.
Internet router – This is a piece of hardware that connects your computers and network equipment to the internet. While most routers will do the job for a small number of VoIP phones, an upgraded router will most likely be needed for a greater number of phones with simultaneous usage.
Hardware (Phone or Computer) – A typical VoIP installation may include phone hardware that come will a full range of options and features. With VoIP, another way to make and receive phone calls is by using a “soft-phone”. This software is installed on your computer, tablet, or smart phone and allows you to place and receive phone VoIP calls without any additional hardware.
Someone to talk to – The true benefit of a VoIP phone system is the person on the other end of the line. If they have a phone number, they can communicate with you from any land line, VoIP, cell, or satellite phone.
Now that we’ve given you a very brief overview of what VoIP is and how it works, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We’d welcome the opportunity to talk about the many options available to our VOIP O.C. phone service customers.