(also Voice over IP, IP telephony)
A method of communicating through calls over an internet connection (as opposed to regular calls made through traditional analog phone services). It can be used to make calls to a person with a regular landline phone or mobile phone. VoIP calls can be made through a desktop computer with softphone (virtual phone) software, an IP phone, a smartphone, or a landline phone connected to a VoIP adapter.
VoIP converts a person’s voice into a digital signal that is sent over the internet like every other traffic from your device. Digitizing, transmitting, decoding, and reassembling the audio may seem like extra steps compared to traditional phone services. But it actually offers better call quality (if the internet connection is fast enough) and enables easier conferencing.
Although often used synonymously, these two terms have different meanings. Internet telephony is an umbrella term encompassing the usage of traditional telephone-based communications over the internet. Voice over IP is one of the technologies used in internet telephony.