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What Is VoIP? The Ultimate Guide to VoIP in 2024

Published On June 14th, 2024 1426Communication
Explore VoIP Solution

Explore what VoIP is and how VoIP works for your business in this detailed guide. 

VoIP is a technology that has replaced traditional phone lines to connect users over calls, in recent years. This article will cover all about the technology so that businesses that are new to VoIP can make informed decisions before establishing real-time communication.  

Let’s get into the details! 

What is VoIP?

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what is Voip phone call

VoIP stands for Voice-Over-Internet Protocol. VoIP uses internet protocol technology to transmit voice calls over the internet. Let’s take a look at the key components behind VoIP technology.

1. Codec:

A codec-decoder transmits analog signals into digital data and vice versa. It compresses and decompresses the voice data for effective transmission over IP networks.

2. IP Network:

VoIP utilizes an IP network, whether internet-based or private, for transmitting voice data packets. These networks can be wired or wireless and span local or global distances.

3. VoIP Gateways:

A VoIP gateway makes the conversion of voice signals between the internet and traditional analog lines easier. Which facilitates the connection between VoIP networks and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) for communicating with non-VoIP devices.

VoIP has enormous potential for reducing communications costs and making real-time communication more effective. We further proceed with VoIP phones, SIP, and everything you need to know about VoIP.

 
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What is a VoIP phone?

voice call api
VoIP phone service for telecom

A VoIP phone is simply an IP phone or internet phone that allows users to make and receive calls over the internet using VoIP technology. VoIP phones can be categorized into two types:

  1. Hardware-based VoIP phones:
    This is a physical device that resembles traditional phones with built-in VoIP technology to make and receive calls over the internet.
  2. Software-based VoIP phones:
    It is a software application allowing users to make and receive calls over the internet using VoIP technology. This can be integrated into desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other devices.
    VoIP phones have major advantages over traditional phones, such as cost savings, scalability, flexibility, advanced features, and integration with several communication technologies.

How do VoIP and VoIP phones work?

VoIP phones work by converting your voice into digital signals and data packets through the internet. The voice calls you make from your device are converted into digital analogue signals through IP networks. Below is the detailed process of workflow for VoIP and VoIP phones.

  1. Analog-to-digital conversion: When you speak through a VoIP phone, your voice is captured and converted into analog electrical signals. The signal is digitized using an analog-to-digital converter (ADC), which then samples the analog signals at regular intervals and converts them into a digital format of the voice as a series of binary numbers.
  2. Packetization: The digital voice data is then converted into small data packets like real-time transport protocol (RTP). Each packet contains voice data with information such as source and destination IP addresses.
  3. IP network transmission: The voice packets are transmitted through IP networks, such as the internet or local IP networks. They are sent through routers and switches to deliver the packets to their destinations.
  4. Digital-to-analog conversion: As the voice packets reach their destination, the so-called receiver, the digital voice packets are converted into analog audio signals using a digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
  5. Voice playback: The VoIP phone’s speaker or headset then plays the amplified analog audio signals, enabling the receiver to hear the caller’s voice.

The entire process of VoIP phones, starting from the caller speaking until the voice reaches its desired receiver, such as conversion, packetization, transmissions, routing, and playback, happens in real-time over IP networks.

The pros and cons of VoIP

Unlike any other technology, VoIP does have its pros and cons; knowing their positives and negatives gives you clarity in your use cases.

what is voice calls
advantages of VoIP phone service
ProsCons
Cost savings – Saves you plenty of cost in long-distance and international calls.Dependence on internet connection – Requires internet connection forever.
Flexibility and mobility – Make and receive calls anywhere with an internet connection through computers, smartphones, etc.Power dependency – Requires a power source over electrical socket or Power over Ethernet (PoE).
Scalability – Easier to expand or downsize phone lines depending on users.Voice quality – Depends on internet bandwidth
Features – Call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, conference calls, caller ID,etc.Technical expertise – Requires technical expertise for setup and support.
Integration with other systems – Can be integrated with other business systems such as CRM softwares.Emergency calling limitations – Low accuracy for emergency callings compared to traditional phones.
What is VoIP Phone

Even with similar cons to pros, VoIP has extended benefits for businesses, such as streamlining workflow, increasing productivity, and improving customer service.

What does SIP mean on VoIP phones?

SIP stands for session initiation protocol (SIP). It is the most popular VoIP signaling protocol for initiating, modifying, and terminating calls between devices over IP networks. Here are some key points about SIP on VoIP phones:

  1. Call setup: SIP is responsible for initiating and setting up calls between users. Once the caller initiates a voice call, SIP protocol is used to send an invitation message to the receiver, who then decides whether to accept or reject the call. Once accepted, SIP protocol establishes a connection between users in real-time.
  2. User location: SIP helps to locate users on the network through Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) to identify the users, similar to email addresses. It can also work with other protocols, such as Domain Name Systems (DNS), to translate domain names into IP addresses for sending calls.
  3. Session management: SIP offers smooth session management, allowing users to modify or terminate ongoing communications. It also offers features like call holding, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calls, etc.
  4. Compatibility: SIP is an open standard protocol that can be implemented by different vendors and easily integrated into different platforms. VoIP technology allows communication among devices from different manufacturers in a unified communication system.

On the whole, SIP plays a vital role in VoIP phones by initiating, modifying, and terminating calls, sending invites for call establishment, and more. It is responsible for establishing and managing communication on VoIP phones.

What Protocols Does VoIP Use on Top of IP?

VoIP uses protocols such as the SIP protocol, the RTP protocol, the RTCP protocol, the SDC protocol, and the SRTP protocol. It uses these protocols on top of IP (intensity protocols) in order to establish a smooth communication flow between users.

Below is the detailed role of these protocols in VoIP.

  • SIP protocol: SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is used in order to initiate, modify, and terminate communication sessions in VoIP. It is responsible for the establishment and management of communications on VoIP phones.
  • RTP protocol: RTP (real-time protocol) is used for transmitting audio and video data packets in real-time over IP networks. It is used along with protocols like SIP.
  • RTCP protocol: RTCP (real-time control protocol) is used along with RTP to provide feedback and control information about quality in real-time. It collects packet loss, delay, and jitter and communicates this information to users in a VoIP session.
  • SDC protocol: SDC (Session Description Protocol) is used to define multimedia sessions in a manner that can be transmitted between devices. It offers details on the various media formats, codecs, and network addressing requirements necessary to set up a communication session.
  • SRTP protocol: SRTP (secure real-time transport protocol) is used for the secure transmission of audio and video data. It is an extension that offers encryption, authentication, and integrity, which guarantee the privacy of communication and control bugging and spying.

These are some of the major protocols used in VoIP over IP. Each of these protocols functions in a way to facilitate secure communication between users.

 
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What to look for in VoIP providers

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telephone VoIP for transportation

VoIP stands for the best way for business communication. While there are several factors to be considered when choosing VoIP providers,

  • Pricing structure: Compare, review, and analyze the pricing structures among VoIP providers and choose the one that best suits your budget and business needs. Every VoIP provider has a different pricing range; choose based on your budget.
  • Scalability: The most important factor to be considered is scalability. The provider must allow you to scale based on your business requirements and growth. Both upsizing and downsizing based on users are necessary.
  • Compatibility: The VoIP provider must be compatible with certain privacy regulations based on business nature. Some of the most common privacy regulations are HIPAA, GDPR, and OWASP.
  • Features: VoIP providers must enable certain features such as call forwarding, call holding, call waiting, voicemails, conference calls, etc. Look for these basic features and accessibility from your provider.
  • Channel support: It’s important to look at multiple channel support options from your VoIP provider, such as Web, Android, iOS, and desktop. These channels are a must, and apart from these, any other channel provides you with add-on features.
  • Customer service: Your job doesn’t end with the VoIP provider once you buy the product; it continues with service support. Technical support, integration support, such as hiring a dedicated developer team, on-premises hosting, etc.

These are some of the basic qualities of a VoIP provider. Look for these basic qualities in your provider first, and also keep an eye on their security features.

How to build VoIP?

In order to build a VoIP system, you have to follow several steps. Here is a general view of building VoIP for your business:

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steps to build voip

1. Determine requirements: 

The first step is to understand your requirements for VoIP, such as the number of users, call volume, required features, integration with existing platforms, scalability, compatibility, budget, etc.

2. Network infrastructure: 

Make sure you have a proper network infrastructure with proper bandwidth to handle voice traffic. Evaluate your network setup, including routers, switches, firewalls, and internet connectivity.

3. Select VoIP software:

 There are various options available for choosing VoIP software, such as open-source software like Asterisk and Freeswitch or proprietary systems offered by trustworthy VoIP vendors.

4. Setup the VoIP server: 

Install and set up the VoIP server or platform on a virtual machine or dedicated server. Complete the instructions provided by the vendor to set up the server, including network configuration, user management, etc.

5. Configure user accounts:

 Create user accounts for each user or device on the VoIP server. Establish user-specific settings for call forwarding, voicemail, extensions, and access rights.

6. Setup trunks and gateways: 

Set up trunks to connect your VoIP system to other VoIP networks or the public switched telephone network (PSTN). You may need to set up gateways to convert analogue signals to digital and vice versa if you are utilizing analogue phones or connecting to legacy systems.

7. Implement security measures: 

secure your network devices, set up a firewall, encryption, authentication mechanisms, etc. Keep an eye out for potential threats to your users’ data.

By following these simple procedures, you can build an effective VoIP system and start making calls. Never forget to test, troubleshoot, and give training for your users to make effective use of VoIP.

How does MirrorFly’s VoIP solution help businesses?

MirrorFly is the #1 VoIP solution provider, which benefits businesses in several ways. They establish a secure connection with end-to-end encryption and AES128 security standards.

It has always been a prioritized choice for developers to use VoIP in order to eradicate communication gaps in businesses, streamline workflows, increase productivity, and improve customer experiences.

Features

Supporting platforms

  • Android, iOS, Windows, Web, etc.

Pricing

With these essential benefits, MirrorFly provides support for businesses through VoIP communications. Click here to claim your demo and product explanation from a VoIP expert, clarify your queries, and choose the best VoIP solution for your business.

Toast with gratitude

Time is the most precious thing in this world, and I owe you my gratitude and a surprise for spending your time reading this article. I hope this article has given you a clear view of VoIP technology, from the basics to the business level.

Now it’s time for you to accept my gratitude and toast the surprise I owe you. I am providing the links below, which might leave you in a surprise, because sometimes even the best things in life come at no cost. Let’s see what we’ve got here.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How much does VoIP cost?

The cost of VoIP varies depending on several factors, such as the service provider, call rates, features and functionality, hardware and equipment, setup and installation, additional services, and integration. However, before choosing the provider, run a complete background check for a comparison of price, features, and benefits among providers to choose the best based on your requirements.

What is a VoIP example?

Here are a few examples of VoIP.
– In-house VoIP system: optimised for large to tiny businesses for in-house communications
– host VoIP system: Ringcentral, Dialpad, etc.
– Hybrid systems: Cloudya, Skype for business, etc.
– VoIP apps: WhatsApp Messenger, Slack, etc.
– Consumer-grade applications: Facetime, Google Voice, etc.
– APIs: MirrorFly, ApphiTect, etc.

What are the types of VoIP?

VoIP services come in several types, each with unique features, functions, and installation choices. A few of them are ATA (analogue telephone adapter), IP phones, softphones, mobile VoIP, cloud-based VoIP, and on-premises VoIP. These are some of the common types. However, the choice of VoIP type depends on the scale of deployment, specific requirements, budget, and available resources.

Where is VoIP used?

VoIP is used in various industries for communication and collaboration. Here are a few use cases where VoIP is being widely used. Business communication, call centres, telecommunication providers, service providers, healthcare providers, education, the hospitality industry, and residential users

Is VoIP reliable?

VoIP is reliable, but its reliability is dependent on several factors, such as Internet connection, network congestion, power outages, service provider reliability, network security, and equipment quality. The above-mentioned factors play a vital role in VoIP reliability. They might improve or worsen its reliability based on their performance.

How is VoIP different from a traditional phone system?

VoIP and traditional phone systems both have their own unique ways of transmitting voice calls. However, VoIP is considered better than traditional phone systems for businesses and individuals looking for modern communication. The benefits of VoIP, such as transmission technology, network infrastructure, call quality, cost effectiveness, scalability and flexibility, features, and functionality, have made it stand out when it comes to communications.

What are the features of VoIP?

Here are the most notable features of VoIP.
– Anonymous call rejection
– Advanced call management
– Automatic service failover
– Auto attendant
– Auto dialers
– Automatic call distribution
– Business text messaging
– Call forwarding and routing
– Call recording and call waiting
– Customizable caller ID

What are 3 advantages of VoIP?

Here are the three major advantages of VoIP:
1. Better voice quality: As connected through the internet, VoIP gives you better voice quality than normal calls.
2. Lower costs: It uses the internet to connect people to each other, which can reduce the significant cost of your overall telephone system.
3. Easily scalable: You can easily add, move, or remove phone extensions and locations, which saves you money and gives you more flexibility.

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Abirami Elangovan

Abirami is a trendsetter in bringing marketing ideas to reality. She is very keen on creating impactful marketing campaigns and learning the newest technologies in white label messaging APIs. And during her leisure, she can't spend a day without singing and reading.

13 Comments

  1. John wicker says:

    Hi team,
    Nice article, here I have a doubt kindly clear me if possible, What kind of providers offers voip phones?

    1. Thanks John! ,
      Sure, my existence and purpose over here are to clarify your queries. There are various kinds of providers that offer VoIP phones, such as Ringcentral, 8×8, Vonage, Nextiva, Jive, Grasshopper, Dialpad, Ooma, etc. You can choose any of these providers that fit your business needs. Or if you require more details on VoIP and customizable in-app VoIP communication providers, then you can contact MirrorFly experts onboard.

  2. Anikha says:

    Hello,
    What is the difference between phone and VoIP?

    1. Hello Anikha,
      The primary difference between a phone and VoIP is the technology used to transmit voice communications. Such as phones use analogue transmission and VoIP uses digital transmission, Which makes VoIP communication cost-effective, highly scalable, and offers more features that can fix communication barriers in any business.

  3. rajeshpat says:

    Hi,
    I just went through your article, it was quite nice also I have a query that Can I use VoIP phone as a regular phone?

    1. Greetings Rajeshpat! Thanks for your compliment on my blog. Yes, obviously, you can use your VoIP phone as a regular phone. VoIP phones often resemble the appearance and functionality of a traditional phone. VoIP is an additional service that allows you to make and receive calls over the internet. Hence, you can switch your phone from VoIP to a traditional phone or vice versa. But make sure your phone provider offers you VoIP capabilities, and register with a VoIP provider to switch instantly based on your comfort.

  4. deleen says:

    Hi,
    Nice article, what kind of advantages I can get by using a VoIP phone?

  5. kaajale says:

    Hello team,
    The article was well-written, Can I use my existing phone for VoIP calls?

    1. Hello,
      I think there is lot of probabilities to do as your question In some cases, you can use your existing phone with an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) to convert analog signals to digital signals compatible with VoIP technology. However, dedicated VoIP phones offer better functionality and performance. for your more clarification about VoIP you can free to call us.

  6. edwin says:

    What are some popular VoIP service providers?

    1. This is from my side the popular Service providers in 2023, I hope it may helpful to you to discover something better.

      Skype
      Google Voice
      Zoom
      RingCentral
      Vonage
      Keep in mind that the availability and popularity of service providers might have changed since then.

  7. stella says:

    can you explain me Is a high-speed internet connection required for VoIP calls?

    1. Of course Stella we pleasure to tell you
      steady and dependable web association is pivotal for quality VoIP calls. A high velocity broadband association with adequate transfer speed is prescribed to guarantee clear and continuous calls.

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