Voice Over Internet Protocol (most commonly known as VOIP), is a type of communication channel that uses IP (internet protocol) instead of the usual telephone lines for transmitting voice signals. This type of technology relies heavily on internet connection to transmit data and voice signals; hence an internet connection is required to use this type of service. It’s also called soft phone or internet phone.

Some people may find this kind of service too technical as the usual home phone set up is not applicable. Prior to getting the VOIP service set up, internet connection needs to be organized first. A user may opt to use a soft phone (which can be downloaded online), or to connect a physical handset to their computer.

The Voice Over Internet Protocol uses the internet’s packet data switching technology to transmit voice signals and provide a phone service. A lot of chat rooms actually use VOIP as their form of voice transmission.

Most internet savvy users prefer to use this kind of technology as it doesn’t cost as much as a traditional landline service. A person can call outside of the country for free, no matter how long they talk. Line clarity is not an issue so long as their internet connection is good. Availability and price are the primary reasons why consumers switch to using this type of service. Those who travel a lot for business or even for leisure can have the capacity of taking their “home phone” or “business phone” with them wherever they go.

Consumers might not be aware of it, but they are using Voice Over Internet Protocol everytime they make a call using their web messengers. This is one proof that the technology does have something to brag about.

Most VOIP providers provide value added features to their VOIP subscription plans. Most features that are offered are those that are also available with traditional home phones, such as:  call waiting, call forwarding, three-way calling, call transfer and even voicemail. Some VOIP service providers let users give a caller an automatic busy signal, send a particular call directly to voicemail, play a “not yet in service message”, or automatically forward a call to a different number.

Compared to a mobile phone, VOIP has a greater advantage. Just like the traditional home phone, mobile phone calls can be twice (or even thrice) as expensive and mobile signals are not very consistent in all areas.

On the other hand, traditional homephones do not rely heavily on electricity; hence, VOIP needs electricity or power since it is connected to a modem or a router.

Most businesses these days resort to using Voice Over Internet Protocol due to quality and bandwidth proficiency. Companies can save a lot with VOIP by routing thousands of calls via a circuit switch and into an IP gateway.  It also allows multinational companies to go on conference meetings with partners around the globe through video conferencing without having to pay for a fortune. The low cost of VOIP lets them allocate their resources for other corporate needs.

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