Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is the technology that allows you to make and receive phone calls over a digital network instead of an analog (regular) phone line. VoIP converts your voice, an analog audio signal, into a digital data signal that you can transmit over the internet. It allows you to make free phone calls directly through a computer or other digital device using any standard internet connection. VoIP bypasses telephone companies entirely, meaning you don’t pay them any charges or fees.
How Does VoIP Technology Work
Voice over IP uses the internet protocol, a fundamental building block of the internet, to transmit its signal. For phone calls, your voice (audio) gets converted into data packets. These data packets can then be sent anywhere in the world through the internet in milliseconds.
Today, making a call using VoIP is similar to making a regular call – you don’t have to use any specialized equipment. VoIP is built on open standards like Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). SIP removed the need for installing expensive, specialized VoIP equipment by providing interoperability between internet protocol VoIP apps and various types of phones.
Making VoIP to VoIP Calls
Once you call, the SIP establishes a connection with the server of your VoIP provider. Your VoIP provider’s server connects to the person you are calling. When they answer, the SIP makes the connection. As you talk, your voices are converted into packets and sent back and forth in real-time. When you hang up, the SIP terminates the connection.
Making VoIP to Landline (PSTN) Calls
VoIP gateways allow you to directly call conventional landlines or PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). A VoIP gateway is a SIP component that converts digital voice to analog and analog to digital, depending on the device you’re using.
When you call, the SIP connects to the VoIP gateway through your VoIP server. The VoIP gateway receives the data packets, converts them into an analog signal, and sends it through the PSTN to the receiver. The analog reply signal is sent through the PSTN to the VoIP gateway, converted into a digital signal and sent through the VoIP server to the SIP back to your device.
Benefits of VoIP
- Low cost
Making calls using VoIP is extremely low, far cheaper than making conventional calls.
- High-quality audio
VoIP calls have excellent audio quality. Voices are clear, not garbled, muffled, or fuzzy.
- Customizable features
VoIP gives you the ability to integrate certain features into your calls, such as call queues, call recording, and autoresponders. Fortunately, VoIP service providers often include these options in their business service plans.
VoIP allows you to carry your phone service wherever you go. As long as you have an internet connection, plug in your device, and you can make and receive calls without difficulty.
Downsides of VoIP
- High latency
This is the time delay between the two ends of a VoIP call. Latency varies depending on the speed of your internet connection, and generally, the slower your internet connection, the greater the latency.
This type of latency is caused by data packets arriving in the wrong order or late. Most VoIP networks create a jitter buffer first to collect data packets and put them in order before delivery, and most VoIP callers notice the jitter.
- Packet loss
The jitter buffer may get overloaded, resulting in the dropping or loss of data packets. This issue also may sporadically occur during conversations where whole sentences may be lost.
VoIP is simple to set up and use for everyday business and personal calls; all you need is an internet connection. It requires no technical expertise apart from plugging in a power cord and a network cable to your phone. Unlike other calling apps like Skype or WhatsApp, VoIP allows you to call a telephone line directly, and they will hardly know the difference. Carrying VoIP with you is as easy as playing online Playtech casino – all you need is internet access on your tablet or mobile phone, and you’re all set!