Definition of VoIP
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is today’s digital substitute for the analog telephone communications that have been in use for the past century. VoIP calls are made using an Internet connection instead of the dedicated communications lines of a telecommunications carrier. VoIP can be set up to allow communication with anyone with a telephone, including those with telephone numbers that may be wireless, local, national or international.
Analog telephone systems are based on circuit-switching networks; VoIP telephone systems are based on packet-switching networks. In both analog and VoIP telephone systems, the sound waves of your voice are picked up by a telephone handset or computer microphone and changed to an electrical signal. Analog systems maintain that signal as a continuous stream; the computer on which the VoIP software runs breaks that signal into digital packets.
How Packet Switching Works
Here are the steps that occur with packet switching:
All the packet switching steps above are transparent to a VoIP caller and the recipient of a VoIP call. Also, using VoIP does not restrict the caller to only making calls to other VoIP users. If a caller’s VoIP service allows assignment of a telephone number, then a VoIP setup can also receive calls from anyone. A company offering VoIP services may also provide services not available on analog systems.