Defining Voice over Internet Protocol

Defining VoIP
VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol is a technology that uses internet protocols to send and receive voice calls. VoIP uses the same protocols used to send an email or data through the internet and uses advanced technology to record and transmit sound packets over a digital network, employing several procedures to break down samples of sound, enhance the quality of voice, compress them and transmit over the network.

What You Should Know About VoIP
Internet protocols are essentially a set of rules used to establish effective communication and VoIP relies on existing protocols to set up a network. Such a network may be used for a home, corporate setting, for public use, etc. When set up, the network can support a wide range of telephony features, devices and services.

Before VoIP
Before digital networks were set up, people had to work with the old Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN, and the network worked fine on many levels, but it is still presented many limitations in an advanced telecommunication industry. VoIP was designed to allow the same telephony, but over a computer network instead of the old circuit-switched systems, VoIP enabled packet-switched systems, which put voice signals into compressed packets, lines them up in sequence and sends them to the recipient, forming an effective conversation. By using packets to relay sound, VoIP allows more information to pass through as opposed to traditional circuit-switched systems.

This results in more enhanced communication and a versatile type of telephony because the sound packets can work on any VoIP-compatible network.

VoIP makes it possible to access a bunch of services that would usually be impossible with traditional telephony. As mentioned, all VoIP telephony is interoperable, which means the services work seamlessly across different networks: but in addition, the services as also portable, working with all IP enabled devices. Phones that have an inbuilt Network Interface Card are capable of supporting VoIP because they have a way to access Media Access Control (MAC) and communicate over a network, PDA, gateways and computers operate the same way, connecting to a network via the NIC and accessing the network server to transmit packets.

Advantages of Using VoIP
Portability and flexibility. Access to the telephone number is not tied to a particular gadget, all that is required is internet access and a computer or VoIP enabled gadget.
Reduced calling costs. Its one of the main reasons people are turning to VoIP. When compared to traditional telephony, VoIP technology offers many more affordable services.
Most service providers offer a whole range of features that would otherwise be impossible to use with a hard-line.

Main disadvantages
Not all networks are perfect so some users may come across bad reception or static.
Video and voice calls can use up lots of bandwidth that would be a problem if the network is congested.
It costs to call regular phone networks. Users may be allowed to make cheap calls on VoIP, but regular call charges may apply when contacting people on other networks.

In the end, VoIP offers more features and opportunities for both businesses and individuals, which is why its popularity has soared in recent years. A few connectivity challenges may appear every once in a while, but they are not enough to water down the efficiency of the technology.