How Does VoIP Work?

September 14, 2019

Maybe you’ve heard of VoIP—Voice over Internet Protocol—but you have no idea what it is, let alone how it works. Not to worry: at Tech Service Company, we’re experts at VoIP network computer setup in MT.

VoIP is, at its simplest, a way to make free phone calls over the internet. It takes analog signals, like talking on the phone, and transmits them into data that can be sent over the internet. There are specific VoIP companies, but more and more often, phone and cable companies are adding them to their packages as well.

Types of VoIP

There are three major types of VoIP systems:

  • ATA (analog telephone adapters): These special adapters connect regular phones to your computer or router/modem. Instead of plugging your home phone into the wall, you would plug that cord into the adapter. You’ll often see these adapters as part of phone or internet company VoIP packages.
  • Computer-to-computer: This is the easiest way of making a VoIP call—think Skype and other computer-to-computer calling software.
  • IP phones. These phones operate almost just like standard telephones, except that they have ethernet adapters instead of telephone lines. They connect directly to the router. Wi-fi enabled phones are similarly able to make calls from any wi-fi hotspot.

How It Works

Traditional telephones rely on a method called “circuit switching,” which refers to how each call uses a single connection end-to-end, or a circuit. During the duration of the call, that circuit belonged to that call, and only that call. (That’s why you’d get a busy signal if you tried to call someone who only had one line.) In modern times, phone companies digitize your voice and send it through a more efficient single fiber optic cable for most of its journey, which is faster and more reliable.

VoIP phones use a different theory called “packet switching.” Packet switching, instead of a continuous circuit connection, relies on only transmitting data when noise is picked up. This allows the data to be routed on a more efficient path, and only the noise data—not the one-sided “dead air” when one party is listening and the other is speaking. It’s faster, easier and cheaper overall.

VoIP phones still operate the same way as traditional telephones on the user end, though—you will simply dial a phone number, which the system will map to an IP address.

Potential Downsides

As with all technology, there can be downsides. In this case, it’s wise to note that since VoIP technology relies on an internet connection, you’ll be without a phone if your connection is down. There are also the same issues you might find with internet connections: latency, jitters, delays and downtime.

Network computer setup in MT is a breeze when you call the staff at Tech Service Company. No matter how complex or large your needs, we are happy to help design, build and install a system that perfectly suits your business. We have years of experience in helping businesses upgrade their networks. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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