VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a type of transmissions medium that is responsible for the delivery of real-time voice and data communication. Unlike its analog predecessor in which the transport functionality was routed via the public switched telephone network (PSTN), calls are now converted from an analog signal to a digital format, which is what the Internet Protocol (IP) uses for transmission and delivery, making VoIP possible. Several other key processes, such as signaling, authentication, security, call control, and voice compression, are established by VoIP prior to and during the call setup phase. (Harper, 2011)
Essentially, VoIP converts your voice into a digital signal that is sent via the internet. The signal is converted to a standard phone signal before it goes to a land line. There are a few ways that VoIP calls are made; computer to computer, computer to a network, and network to network.
How VoIP works
The way VoIP works is by using what is called an analog telephone adaptor (ATA). The ATA allows you to connect your phone line to your computer and that allows you to make phone calls across the Internet. The ATA converts the signal from analog to digital. The analog signal is taken from your regular phone and makes it a digital signal so that it can be transmitted through the Internet. One of the most popular providers for VoIP services is Vonage. AT&T is also a provider that uses VoIP and they include an ATA as part of its VoIP service. The setup is actually pretty straightforward, and is a pretty simple installation. Basically, what is required is plugging your phone line into the ATA, and running a phone line out of the ATA into your computer.
Tools of the trade
These look just like normal phones. The difference is that an IP phone has an RJ-45 connector that plugs into your computer, or router instead of an RJ-11 which is the standard connector used on normal phones. They have a handset, cradle and buttons just like a normal phone has. There are even Wi-Fi phones that allow you to make VoIP calls utilizing any Wi-Fi hot spot.
Computer to computer is the easiest way to use VoIP. With the exception of paying for the Internet service through a provider, this is a free method of computer to computer calls. Long distance is normally free of charge, no matter how far between calls. Items required for this method of VoIP is the software, Internet connection, a sound card, microphone and speakers. An optional item would be a camera for video conferencing if that is a desire of the user.
Low cost. This type of phone/computer service in the United States allows you to call anywhere for free.
It’s portable. You can take the phone converter and even the phone number and use it anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to a high-speed Internet connection. VoIP is also feature rich, offering items such as call...