(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.
How does VoIP work?
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.
- Cost-efficient. VoIP calls are free within the organization (even when calling remote offices in other countries) and cheaper than traditional phone services when you’re making external calls.
- Easy deployment. VoIP requires less hardware than traditional lines because the whole process is hosted in the cloud, which also saves costs and time.
- Increased mobility. Since everything is stored in the cloud, employees can easily access all features on their mobile phones no matter where they are.
Internet telephony vs. Voice over IP (VoIP)
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.