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How Does VOIP Work?


Since VOIP has become such a common form of communication for people to be able to speak to each other, let’s take a look at what VOIP is and how it works.

Image of a desk phone and a laptop with VOIP capabilities

Before explaining how VOIP works, we should probably first cover what VOIP is. VOIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. It basically has to do with transmitting speech via the internet. This bypasses traditional telephone systems, which have physical lines, and allows users to talk to each other on their computers using programs like Skype. There are many services that provide free basic VOIP service to consumers to save money on long distance calls. However, many businesses have also realized the benefits of using VOIP based phone systems as well. More on that in a bit.

So, how does VOIP work? Well, that can get very technical, but we will try to keep the details as simple as possible. Have you ever used a microphone connected to your computer to record a message or song? The computer uses samples of the sound and stores them locally on your computer. These samples are just tiny bits of what you attempted to record. The computer then takes all of these samples and puts them together so you can play back what you just recorded. VOIP is based on the same technology, only it does not store those samples on your local computer, but sends them across the internet to another computer, so it can be played there. These samples are collected and placed into data packets for transmission. A single IP packet will contain generally 10 or more milliseconds of audio.

Think of VOIP like post cards. A single post card is easy to send and contains a little information. In order to send a lot of information (such as a conversation), you would need to send a lot of postcards. This is what VOIP essentially does, sends a lot of packets that are restored on the receivers end to hear what the sender  is trying to say. But unlike sending a post card, VOIP works almost instantaneously and there is very little, if any, lag time. Not only does VOIP make speaking to another person available anywhere there is an internet connection, it can do the same with video as well.

This is where businesses can benefit from using VOIP for their communication needs. Small business owners can save money by using VOIP for their long distance calls, and the bigger businesses can cut costs by  utilizing VOIP for their entire telephone system as well as their video conferencing needs. Even answering services and call centers can take advantage of these benefits to enhance the services they provide.  

While there is plenty more that goes  into  it, all of the technical jargon notwithstanding, this should be a brief, yet sufficient look into what VOIP is and how it works. If you would like to know more or empower your business with VOIP communication capabilities, get a hold of the people at a company called Solaxis.

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