While the introduction of the internet brought with it many changes to the way we live and work, perhaps above all, it has indisputably changed the way we communicate.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), in particular, has been responsible for revolutionising communication for individuals and businesses, providing a cost-effective and convenient alternative to regular phone services.
Despite the growing popularity and reliance on VoIP as a method of communication for users, it remains a mystery to many people.
So, what is VoIP?
What is VoIP?
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a communications technology that utilises an internet connection rather than a phone line.
VoIP users can make calls using numerous devices, including smartphones, computers and certain browsers and apps with WebRTC (web real-time communication).
How does VoIP calling work?
The way VoIP works is by transforming audio signals into digital data, which is then sent to whoever the user is talking to via Wi-Fi, mobile data, or Ethernet.
VoIP will use codecs for converting the data, meaning the data is compressed into audio ‘packets’ which travel across an IP network and are then ‘unwrapped’ when they reach the other end of the network.
This means VoIP is generally more cost effective, as VoIP calls are classified as regular internet traffic, resulting in the bills for VoIP calls being cheaper than regular phone bills.
VoIP Phone Numbers
A VoIP phone number is essentially a phone number that doesn’t have to be linked to a location or phone line.
Traditional single phone lines are no longer. We now use SIP Lines that are the virtual/digital phone lines which allow multiple simultaneous calls to be on the same phone number.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for confusion with VoIP systems is that we grew so used to the constraints of conventional phones that it is hard to comprehend the flexibility and ubiquity of VoIP.
Using any broadband connection, virtual phone numbers can be used to make or receive calls on a range of devices, or on many devices at once, whether it’s VoIP desk phones, which most resemble the traditional desk phone, mobile, or desktop.
With a virtual phone number paired with an IP PBX system like 3CX, you can employ digital receptionists, complex call flows, after hours messaging, and virtual voicemail utilities.
VoIP phone numbers allow the additional functionality of call forwarding, caller ID, call monitoring, automatic redialling, etc., and in most cases this is considerably cheaper than using a traditional phone line and phone system.
With the use of VoIP systems, these features are also easier to implement and manage.
Other VoIP Features
As well as traditional audio phone calls, VoIP can be used for:
These functions are obviously beneficial to businesses for communication and operations, especially with more and more teams working remotely.
If you’re looking to find out more about the pros and cons of VoIP for your business, watch this space for our article about the Benefits of VoIP for Business.
So, now that we know what VoIP is…
Hopefully we’ve been able to provide you with insight into what VoIP is and how it works for businesses and organisations. Due to its functionality and flexibility, VoIP really is a service worth exploring for any developing business.
If you want to learn more about Voice over Internet Protocol and how it could benefit your business, contact us, as we’d be more than happy to discuss it with you.