Home > General IT, VoIP > ✎ What is VoIP

✎ What is VoIP

VoIP or Voice over IP stands for Voice over Internet protocol.

In general it means voice travels over the Internet, theoretically that means any Voice that can be heared over the Internet may be called VoIP. But this term is dedicated to telephone calls being delivered via the Internet, rather than  POTS or Plain Old Telephone Service utilizing the Public Switched Network or Public Circuit-Switched Telephone Networks(PTSN).
Using Voice over IP, any computer or telephone connected to the internet with a broadband connection can call another computer or phone at a fraction of usual cost, or absolutely free. In other words VoIP can turn a standard Internet connection into a way to place free phone calls.

VoIP is packet switched, meaning voice signals are compressed into data packets. These packets contain a sender andvoip_station receivers IP address, in order to route the packets to the correct destination.

For a more detailed explanation how packets are build and how packet routing works, visit:

The Dawn of the Net

In a circuit switched network, no sender and receiver information is send, since the call is delivered over pre-determined lines and routes/switches. A call from A to B travels always the same way in a public switched network, where a VoIP call travels random routes on the Internet, depending on traffic and congestion.

On a public switched network a call can not be completed if one of the lines between two callers is down. If a route on the Internet is down or congested, data packets are delivered using different routes, which can be somewhat random and allow therefore for the call to be completed at all times.

Since a VoIP is travelling over packet switched networks utilized the same lines as the standard computer data packets, there is less demand on building an appropriate infrastructure, since voice and data travel over the same line.

VoIP or IP Telephony works like computers work on LANs or WANs. It also means that VoIP does not necessarily need a dedicated telephone, but will also work having speakers/headset & microphone in addition to a IP Telephony Software on a PC or Laptop.

Just the thought of using one and the same hardware infrastructure and common data packets to place or receive a call, opens up so many additonal opportunities, like CIT or Computer Integrated Telephony. CIT is technology through which a computer application can intercept a call-“data-packet”, extract relevant information, match it up with a back-end database and deliver caller information to a computer screen in real-time with the call being delivered to the person who receives the call. This is just one of many possible scenarios VoIP has opened us up to.

  1. parkpost
    2009/08/17 at 7:29 am

    Nice introdution to VoIP here. Thanks for the post.

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