VoIP is quite simple a miracle of the modern age, allowing near instant communication with anyone worldwide. VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol (aka IP Telephony) and is a alternate method of making a phone call. Simply put, you don’t use traditional land-lines but instead utilize the infrastructure of the internet. Additionally, you aren’t locked into using an actual phone (unless you desire) as you can easily utilize most PCs to communicate.
VoIP first became popular as a way to negate (or reduce) the cost of making a long-distance call, although in most cases, it is a peer-to-peer way of connecting to other VoIP users with similar equipment. When you speak with friends and family who are also using VoIP, the call is essentially free (normal internet usage fees will apply) and you can easily use your PCs onboard microphone, or hook in a headset for privacy if desired.
There are effectively two ways to use VoIP:
1. One VoIP user would connect to another VoIP user.
2. You can connect to an interface that in turns connects you to a land-line or mobile phone. There is normally a small fee associated with this type of VoIP, though the costs are minimal.
VoIP wouldn’t have been possible even less than a generation ago because it is solely dependent on the infrastructure (and bandwidth expansion) of the internet. VoIP has allowed families and friends to communicate over long distance (often with video) at little to no cost.
Today’s VoIP has evolved based on competition and also to meet the demands of consumers. While the most effective (and cost free) use of VoIP is PC to PC (with both parties using a VoIP service), you can also have a VoIP number which can follow you anywhere and forward to any other phone if needed.
Equipment will vary, but you’ll need certain things in order to utilize VoIP; first and foremost is broadband Internet connection (becoming common in most communities) and suitable software installed on your PC.
Security and Privacy
Most VoIP users will simply be communicating with family and friends, not necessarily worried about security or proprietary information being stolen. That however changes if you’re a business, or if you’re discussing matters better kept private. In that case you’d want to utilize a private VoIP networks that utilized stronger security and possibly encrypts calls.
Private networks may offer the following:
- CRM (customer relationship management) integration
And this can all be accomplished no matter where the person is geographically or what time of the day. A business person in Los Angles can easily conduct business via VoIP with an associate on the other side of the world, easily, seamlessly and instantly.
When Utilizing VoIP you have the potential to:
- Reduce travel and training costs (using web and video conferencing)
- Grow you system as needed
- Have a single number ring multiple devices simultaneously
- Reduce overhead
- Simply management
- Access the system anywhere you have an internet connection