What is VoIP?

Voice over IP and the Internet

Office communications have changed a lot, but one thing that hasn't is the list of acronyms to describe the old and new ways to connect your business phone system. There are a couple of terms that are the most commonly used phrases to describe this broad category of Internet telephony:

  • POTS which simply means "plain old telephone service" and PSTN (Public-Switched Telephone Network). Legacy phone systems often are described this way, but Voice over IP (VoIP) changed all that.
  • VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is also called IP Telephony since it channels voice calls and voice data through IP networks, through LANs (Local Area Networks) and the Internet. As bandwidth has increased, so has the proliferation of VoIP systems. It has radically changed "telephony" as we know it. One of the main advantages that VoIP brings is considerable cost savings since calls are often free. VoIP is a way to make calls across your Local Area Network (LAN) and or Wide Area Network (WAN). The technology behind VoIP converts your analog voice into digital packets which are then sent across a network using the Internet Protocol (IP) to their end destination.

And as voice communications evolved, the idea to unify all of the office communications was the logical next step. So, Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration (UCC) is another advantage for business phone systems. You can do more than just talk - you can integrate chat, conferencing, instant messaging, fax and more, all in one system.

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