What VoIP Is and How it Works

Many businesses rely on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and it’s become the backbone of their business communications. However, businesses interested in switching from traditional landlines to VoIP may have questions about costs, hardware and features. VoIP can reduce overall costs and improve communications. Here’s information on what VoIP is and how it works.

What is VoIP Phone Service?

VoIP is an acronym for voice over internet protocol. VoIP differs from traditional lines because it uses broadband internet for its connection which is much faster than landlines because it works in real-time. VoIP works with softphones and these let callers access features they wouldn't have with antiquated landlines. Because VoIP uses network packets, users can make calls, share videos and send files with VoIP phones.

Regular telephone lines, on the other hand, use copper wiring. These landlines are dedicated phone lines that work on a public switched telephone network (PSTN). These types of lines are very limited as they work with circuit switches to transmit a person’s voice when they make a call. The landlines are underground and rely on technicians to make physical repairs, upgrades and add new service and extensions.

How VoIP Phone Calls Work

When a person uses a VoIP softphone (one that’s connected to the internet), the call is sent over the internet. When a call is made, the receiver picks up and the connection is established. As the caller and receiver talk, their voice media flows from one endpoint to the other and back and forth. This data is transported by a real-time transport protocol (RTP).

When an individual caller is speaking, their voice is broken into tiny packets that are transmitted and sent out over the internet. These packets are then reassembled on the receiver’s end so the call can be heard in its entirety. The receiver can use a handset, headset or speakerphone during their call similar to how they would with a traditional landline.

VoIP calls use a transmission control protocol (TCP) or user datagram protocol (UPD) to establish a connection while the connections are registered or unregistered. If the connection is unregistered, a session initiation protocol (SIP) channel is used. It can work directly between two different phone devices and make video and voice calls that are usually free of charge.

VoIP Benefits and Features

Businesses that switch to VoIP phone service will find that it offers several benefits and features. These can help whether the business is in the initial startup stages or a growing enterprise.

With VoIP phones, users can:

  1. Remote call other phones and transfer files and video
  2. Record calls for training and compliance purposes
  3. Start web calls and video conferences and interconnect with other phones
  4. Lower overall costs as most domestic and international calls for free
  5. Set up service and make upgrades with minimal software costs
  6. Add extensions without installing extra phone lines

Switching to VoIP

VoIP phones work with a broadband connection and are a convenient way for businesses to improve communications and reduce overall costs. Many businesses switch to VoIP because they can set up video conferences and make most domestic and international calls for free. Businesses that have questions about VoIP or want to switch to VoIP should consult with their internet provider about leveraging this advanced business communications technology.