Understanding VoIP And How It Changes Telecommunications

The Internet has revolutionized the world in many ways, including the telephone system that it was once delivered by. Many people use the Internet for information searches, creative endeavors, entertainment and many methods of communication.

If you're interested in trying Voice-over IP (VoIP) or optimizing your home, small office or any business network for great voice and data performance, consider a few concepts and purposes of VoIP systems.

How Is VoIP Different From Traditional Telephony?f

Traditional telephones operated by physical switches and copper wiring managed at the local and regional level. A phone number was a physical setting at a local switch, which translated to larger switches before being sent out to the telecommunications world at large.

Switches have long since become obsolete. The new world of VoIP is actually the evolution of decades of current telephone technology, but applied over the Internet. Telephone companies had their own networks for specifically sending voice information--data used for nothing but voice--to customers.

When the Internet became widely accepted and more available to consumers, the ability to translate voice into something that the Internet could package, deliver and unpackage to other people on the Internet became simple enough to be a hobby for many tech enthusiasts. Large telephone companies use VoIP technology internally, then send the information across traditional copper wire systems to people using traditional phones.

Today, the difference between VoIP and traditional telephone systems is how your information is delivered. In the background, all telephony systems interact with VoIP at some point.

What Is Required For VoIP Communications?

VoIP requires a strong enough Internet connection and a set to talk and listen on. The set may be a desktop or laptop computer with a microphone and speakers, or it may be a smartphone connected to a home wireless connection. The main requirement is defining 'strong enough'.

When you talk and receive sound from others using VoIP, you're still transferring data like any downloading, movie watching, music listening or web browsing. The field of VoIP technology involves different methods and best practices for packaging your sound as small as possible while maintaining the quality at best effort. You'll still need an Internet connection that can support the traffic.

Contact a VoIP specialist to find out their specific bandwidth requirements. Keep in mind that you'll need more than the bare minimum for their service; if you purchase bare minimum service, every download, search or transfer will compete with your voice traffic and lead to broken up sounds with slower downloads. Discuss your usual Internet activities and work from there to get a VoIP setup that runs smoothly without paying for excess.