Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Posted onCategoriesComputer Systems & Networks

VoIP is an acronym that means Voice over Internet Protocol. Simply put, it is an option that people may take if telephone communication is not practical, accessible or affordable. The difference between telephones and VoIP communication is in the way audio signals are transmitted. Telephones make use of analog signals while VoIP technology relies on digital packets.

When one makes a phone call, circuit switching comes into play. This involves passing analog-converted audio signals from one switch to another until it reaches the recipient. Answering a call is the final step to opening the circuit of communication.

VoIP communication does not use circuit switching. It instead relies on the switching of packets. Audio is converted to packets of digital information. These carry additional information on message destination. Packets can then be sent through many different paths to reach the recipient. The nearest available path is taken. Once the packets reach their destination, they are converted back to audio data.

VoIP communication can be an attractive alternative to a lot of people. This is mainly because it is often cheaper than telephone communication. Circuit switching which is used for telephones can be expensive. Aside from cost savings, VoIP communication is also often more accessible. Not every part of the world has a telephone. VoIP however can be used wherever there is an internet connection. These days, the internet can be accessed even in remote areas through satellite technology.