Telephone landlines are all but extinct. While the infrastructure remains, fewer and fewer companies turn to use the dated technology to run a business. Additionally, these systems are often expensive to maintain, costing businesses hundreds of dollars a month. VoIP, short for Voice over IP provides many of the same benefits of a landline, yet often cost a fraction of the price. For companies or consumers considering the technology, here are the ins and outs of how VoIP works.
What is VoIP?
Voice over IP works through an Internet connection. The IP (or Internet Protocol) is unique to the computer and Internet connection for every user. In essence, an IP address functions as a computer’s Internet fingerprint. VoIP allows a user to make and receive voice phone calls over this Internet connection in a similar manner to a traditional landline.
When using a traditional landline, an analog call is made and transmitted through the phone line and connected to the entered in phone number. As an Internet connection is digital and not analog, the voice call is converted into digital packets of information and transmitted through the Internet connection before being converted back to analog on the recipient’s phone.
VoIP has more similarities with cell phones than landlines. Cell phones, when making calls through a Wi-Fi network, do more or less the exact same thing as a VoIP service. The call is converted into digital information and sent through the Wi-Fi Internet connection
Why VoIP Costs Less Than a Landline?
When paying for a landline and Internet there are two different networks entering the office or a person’s home. This means money needs to go to maintaining two different utility networks. With VoIP, only one network is used (the Internet). As VoIP works over the Internet, paying for VoIP service does not require funding to cover the Internet signal. That is already covered by the Internet subscription. This slashes the price of VoIP down, allowing any subscriber, whether it is a large business or an individual, to save money.
VoIP doesn’t have the same kind of additional fees associated with a landline as well. While long-distance calls are now generally built into a landline’s standard fee, it may cost a significant amount of money to call other phone lines out of the country. This is because different countries use different landline technology. The call must be transferred into the new region, possibly several times. The different transfers increase the cost of sending and receiving the call. However, these transfers do not exist when using an Internet-based phone.
When a long distance call is made over an Internet connection, it’s no different than connecting to a website located in a different country. The signal doesn’t require any kind of transfer. Internet information is sent and received in data packets made up of 1’s and 0’s. This doesn’t change in between countries, so there are generally no fees connected with making international calls.
The Same Phone is Used
Whether landline or VoIP, the same phone can be used. Depending on the VoIP service, there usually is a kind of receiver in the home or office that connects to the Internet. The telephone is then connected to the receiver. Other services may only require a small device to connect to a computer’s USB port and then plug into the phone, or the phone may be synced wirelessly to the office or home’s Wi-Fi network. All of this depends on the particular service provider and what the user has signed up for.
The same services available on a landline are also available on VoIP. So whether a business is interested in caller ID, call forwarding or any other feature, they can subscribe to it with their VoIP service as well. It is important to consult the VoIP service provider to see if the desired service costs more or if it is built into the monthly service cost after signing up for their VoIP account.
VoIP works in a similar manner to traditional landlines, except Voice over IP, use an Internet connection. By taking advantage of an Internet connection, an interested party can use its already existent Internet connection to save money on the utility.