What is VoIP?
You’ve heard the term before. But do you really know what it means? Sure, the acronym stands for Voice over IP, and through that acronym you can deduce that it allows you to send voice messages over the internet. But, have you ever thought about what that really means, and why so many people choose VoIP over standard telephony for their communication needs? There are a plethora of reasons to choose VoIP, especially in a modern environment wherein the internet is ubiquitous all over the developed world. But, before we can discuss why VoIP, we need to discuss what VoIP is, beyond just an acronym.
VoIP can be used to describe any communications protocol that functions over the IP network stack. Or, in layman terms, if you’re talking live over the web, it’s VoIP. Video chats, phone calls and even video games could be considered VoIP programs. This fact is VoIP’s biggest strength. It takes everything about your communication needs and repackages your requirements to work on already existing infrastructure. Of course, this is an advantage over trying to leverage a dying medium, one that sees less and less support on a day-to-day basis.
Talking over the internet?
Of course, talking over the internet offers more advantages than just replacing phones. VoIP phones are easy to set up and powerful enough to meet your corporations every need. Want to host a call between three different offices all over the world? With VoIP, you can use the already existing internet connection between these three offices to facilitate said call. Furthermore, through use of technology like Secure Socket Layer, nobody can sneak a listen on your call, just in case you have to worry about nosy neighbors. Is an employee in a fourth location, needing to call in from an out-of-office situation? As long as they have internet access, they can join right into the call. VoIP is even backwards compatible with the analog phone system. Many VoIP programs will allow you to simply type a regular phone number in, and you’ll be able to call that phone number as if you were on a landline. However, regular phones cannot call VoIP phones, and landlines cannot communicate over the internet.
What’s so great about the internet, anyway?
At this point, you’re probably wondering what makes the internet superior to an analog phone system. Just like the rest of VoIP, the answer is both simple and incredibly powerful. Not only is the internet everywhere, but it’s probably already a part of your business. Unlike landlines, which either need to be installed, or need to use a separate system to communicate, VoIP works over the same internet as your computers. That’s one less layer of complication. One less specialist to call in if something goes wrong. One less point of failure for your communications network. It doesn’t matter if you’re calling the telephone down the hall or halfway around the world. If both VoIP phones are plugged into the internet, they will be able to talk to each other. No analog switching stations. No waiting for calls to cross borders. No long distance or roaming fees. The internet is truly the home of the future of telephony, and the only way to leverage it is with VoIP.