Internet technology has truly revolutionized the way we communicate – all thanks to Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. Every day consumers use VOIP technology to speak to their friends and family, and you’ll also find it in the most efficient customer-facing businesses. VoIP calls are now an essential tool for running effective call centers with productive agents. Whether you’re a business leader looking to learn more about how VoIP works, or you’d just like to know more about how the internet revolutionized communication, this guide to VoIP will provide all the answers.

How VoIP Works

VoIP enables people to have voice-based conversations over the internet. Moving away from the traditional analog telephone conversations, which use a landline or mobile network connection, a VoIP system requires only a high-speed internet connection to work. VoIP has revolutionized the telecommunications industry, holding many significant benefits when compared to fixed phone lines. VoIP systems take analog voice signals and convert them into digital signals before sending that data over a broadband connection.

Types of VoIP System

VoIP harnesses the power of the internet to make communication over the web a reality. It can do that in one of the following methods.

Using a phone and VoIP adapter

Any regular landline can be converted to make and accept VoIP calls. All that’s needed is a special adapter plugged into the phone socket or router.

Using a computer

There are countless providers of VoIP services already out there, many of which you’ve probably heard of or used. Skype, Google Hangouts, and Apple’s Facetime service are all powered by VoIP technology.

Using a smartphone

There are countless options on mobile app stores offering VoIP services, using the same technology, only this time using your phone’s internet connection. This can be particularly powerful for remote workers, who can take business calls on their smartphone using the business’ phone system.

VoIP for Business

VoIP phone systems are a popular solution for businesses that want a cost-effective method to handle a lot of calls in a reliable way. They come in one of two solutions: Hosted Cloud PBX and SIP trunking.

Hosted Cloud PBX

Also known as a cloud phone system, a hosted Cloud PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a holistic, networked approach to business communication. In this system, every device that handles calls is connected to the same cloud-based infrastructure. The entire system is managed off-site by a third-party company. Desk IP phones, analog phones with a built-in adapter, desktop computers and smartphones are all connected to the Local Area Network (LAN). When a call comes in from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), it travels through the VoIP provider, router and LAN before it arrives at the correct device. Cloud PBX systems can be managed online, making it easier for administrators to adjust permissions or add features that wouldn’t be available with an analog system. They also tend to be much cheaper than using costly telephone businesses.

SIP Trunking

The initial cost of installing a PBX system can be high if businesses are required to replace a lot of hardwired phones. Using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking does away with this requirement, as it connects your existing PBX system to the internet. An SIP trunk represents the bridge between the VoIP provider and your PBX equipment. Using this model, the system is handled by IT staff on-site.