Wondering about the meaning of VoIP? We can help! Read on to discover what this acronym stands for, how it’s used, and more.
The English language is full of acronyms. While some of them are pretty common — like RIP, which stands for “rest in peace,” or YOLO meaning “you only live once” — there are some that are not as well known, like VoIP.
To help clear up any confusion that you may have about the acronym VoIP, we’ve put together this complete guide where you can discover its meaning, origin, and use.
What Is the Definition of VoIP?
According to the Federal Communications Commission, VoIP is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP refers to a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular analog phone number.
Traditional telephony — AKA, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) — works through physical phone lines, cable systems, and networks. It allows users to make cellular and landline phone calls.
Internet Protocol telephony, however, is much more versatile and enables voice, video, and data to be transmitted to a wide variety of devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones at a much lower cost.
How Does VoIP Work?
VoIP works by converting voice audio into tiny packets of data that then travel quickly through the Internet like any other type of data, such as pictures, text, or video.
These little packets of sound data travel almost instantly through private and public Internet networks to route from the origination to the destination. Any mobile phone or landline that is connected to the Internet can make VoIP calls as well as receive them.
Let’s break VoIP down step-by-step:
- Your phone connects to your router or switch in your Local Area Network (LAN).
- When you dial the digits to reach someone, your IP phone tells your VoIP service provider to make the call.
- Your VoIP service establishes the call and exchanges the data packets from your Internet Protocol phone.
- Your VoIP phone then converts these digital signals back into the sound you can hear.
Note: It’s important to keep in mind that since VoIP calls rely on the Internet as opposed to analog telephone lines, you may face the same delays and lags as you would with other data that travels the Internet when bandwidth is overwhelmed.
Advantages of VoIP
As with many things in life, Voice over IP has advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide if IP telephony is right for you, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of VoIP:
- Lower cost — Many people are fans of VoIP because the price is often much lower than a typical phone bill.
- High-quality sound — With uncompressed data, VoIP users enjoy audio that is crystal-clear.
- Remote ready — If you work from home, VoIP is a great option because you can use your phone service wherever you are with no technical setup required.
- Added features — VoIP has many added features, including call queues, call recording, custom caller ID, or voicemail to email.
- Low international rates — Whenever you make an international call via your landline, it rents the wired circuit for the call to transfer overseas. VoIP doesn’t require a wired line as it relies on the Internet to make calls, meaning it’s treated like normal Internet traffic and is, therefore, less expensive.
- Makes analog phones obsolete — VoIP uses revolutionary technology that doesn’t require analog signals.
Disadvantages of VoIP
Despite its many wonderful benefits, VoIP services may still come with a few drawbacks. These disadvantages include:
- Requires a high-speed internet connection — If you have dial-up or satellite-based internet connections, you’ll need at least 100 kbps (01 Mbps) per phone line for VoIP to work well.
- Emergency services are limited — In the event you need to make an emergency call to the police from your VoIP phone, you will need to provide the operator with your actual location. This is because Voice over Internet Protocol systems default to sending your company’s mailing address to public safety operators.
- Power outages mean no VoIP calls — If a power outage occurs in your home, you will not be able to use a VoIP system because it uses power via the Internet to make calls. In other words, no internet means no VoIP services.
- The Internet is public — Not all VoIP providers offer secure transmission, so there is a very real possibility of data being intercepted. This includes voice data during VoIP calls. The danger of private voice calls being breached is an unfortunate occurrence that should not be ignored.
VoIP is a commonly used acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol and refers to the transmission of voice traffic over an internet connection. In simpler terms, it allows users to make voice calls from a smartphone, computer, tablet, special VoIP phones, and WebRTC-enabled browsers.
The process is pretty similar to a regular phone that relies on analog phone lines, but VoIP uses an Internet connection in lieu of a telephone company’s wiring.
If you’re thinking about swapping your landline over to a VoIP service, be sure to compare VoIP providers and plans to find the right one for you.
We hope this guide has given you all of the information you need to truly understand the meaning of VoIP. To discover more interesting words and widen your vocabulary, feel free to check out our website.