VoIP Blog #1: What is it?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): What is it?

Fortunately, I have realized that I should first write about the basics of VoIP, so that I can reference the information in subsequent posts. This article is intended to give a basic understanding of VoIP, written in a form that most people would understand. This should be an easy task for me because explaining telecommunications to lay-people is a large part of my job.

VoIP is the technology that allows your voice to travel over a data network. An example of a data network is the internet, another example is the local network at your office. Now, you cant just grab a network cable or your mouse and yell into it to use VoIP, you must have a device to translate your voice into “packets” of data. Us phone guys refer to these devices as Media Gateways, which translate voice calls from phone equipment to IP packets. However, your computer is such a device if you use it to talk with people over the internet (like using Skype or Google Chat). At the other end there must be a similar device to translate your voice back to something that can be heard by the human ear. Sending your calls over the internet allows you to communicate with others anywhere in the world, as long as both parties have a reliable and fast enough internet connection.

That’s it for the basics. Other articles will focus on specific subjects as they relate to VoIP.

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