VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is an acronym which, even if you know what each letter represents, can be confusing to the uninitiated. If you are struggling to get to grips with the ins and outs of VoIP technology and the infrastructure which makes it all work, this guide should help clear up most of the major issues and help to develop your understanding of this important form of communication.
In essence, VoIP is the practice of making a phone call using an internet connection, not a traditional landline service. That means that the sound of your voice is converted into a digital signal which is passed over the web to the person that you are calling, where it is once more turned back into sound.
Because you will be calling point to point to another user, either via your PC or a dedicated VoIP-ready telephone, there is usually no charge for the call no matter where you are located in geographical terms. This means that VoIP-to-VoIP calls can cost virtually nothing and allow you to call long distance without racking up a hefty phone bill.
VoIP calls need not only be made between two internet-based end users. You can in fact call any landline or mobile number using a VoIP service. As soon as you start getting involved with the traditional telecoms infrastructure, however, you will need to start paying for the time you spend on the line. On the plus side, this is still usually cheaper than calling direct from a standard analogue landline extension, depending on the provider.
There are many different VoIP providers in the market, with the Microsoft-owned Skype being perhaps the most recognisable brand. In fact, the term Skyping has become synonymous with making a VoIP call from a PC or laptop.
If you are a business user then Skype may be suitable, although there are many more bespoke VoIP services tailored specifically to the needs of enterprise customers rather than domestic users.
Hosted VoIP services can be harnessed by businesses that want to take advantage of impressively intelligent call routing, automated answering services and the scalability to expand without having to make a major investment in any PBX hardware.
VoIP takes the burden of maintenance and installation away from companies and allows this type of thing to be handled by a third-party provider, all for a flat monthly fee. Given the competition in this market, it is not difficult to get a good deal from a VoIP provider which will help you to keep a tight control over your telecoms budget.
One of the major benefits of VoIP is that it is not intrinsically linked to a single location, as was the case with older technologies. Instead, you can access the same features and call functions from a mobile phone or from any networked device, provided there is a compatible software application available from your VoIP company of choice.
Gaining mobility without losing out on any kind of functionality will be a real boon for busy people. It will also help cut down on the amount of money which is spent on mobile calls, which are usually much more expensive than basic landline services.
The only thing you need for mobile VoIP to operate is a decent network connection, operating either over Wi-Fi or 3G, where available. The proliferation of high-speed mobile networks means that using mobile VoIP is becoming more attractive all the time.
By taking advantage of modern VoIP services you will be able to enter the contemporary world of telephony with confidence, saving money and improving your ability to stay in contact with colleagues, clients, business partners and friends.
Theis are article was written by Daisy Group plc one of the UK’s leading VoIP providers of business voip solutions to small, medium and enterprise businesses thorughout the UK.