WebRTC, otherwise known as Web Real-Time Communications, is a free open-source project that enables peer-to-peer audio, video, and data communication between two web browsers via simple Application Program Interfaces (APIs). Because WebRTC allows users to make phone calls over the internet, much like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, many are confused as to whether these technologies are competing or if they are complementary.
In this article, we will try to learn more about the two systems, discover their similarities and differences, and find out how users can benefit from them.
Voice over Internet Protocol is a group of technologies that makes it possible for data (audio, video, and chat) to be transmitted over your internet connection. The service can be used on any device (desk phones, computers, mobile devices, and even traditional landlines) as long as it is connected to the internet. VoIP brings users a slew of benefits, including low calling rates, scalability, flexibility, and access to a wide range of calling and mobility features.
WebRTC is an emerging technology that aims to transform the web communications experience of users. Basically, it allows users to connect with each other (make audio and video calls, share files, and other online-based sharing) through their web browsers without having to install additional plugins or software. It is fully supported by W3C, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. Internet Explorer and Safari have not yet implemented WebRTC, and still rely on plugins to do real-time communications.
Similarities and differences
WebRTC and VoIP both share the same goal: to improve user experience by giving consumers the ability to connect with anyone, anytime, and on any network using any device (whether it be a PC, mobile phone, or tablet) effortlessly.
The difference lies in how the two services achieve their goal. For VoIP, the service works over DSL/cable modem, Wi-Fi/3G, LTE, and Rich Communication Suite (RCS). WebRTC, on the other hand, focuses only on browser-based communications.
So do they connect or clash?
WebRTC and VoIP shouldn’t be pitted against each other as they are not contending technologies. In fact, these two can be used ltogether to improve web based communications and help businesses achieve their goals. WebRTC, for instance, makes it possible for developers to embed VoIP service directly into a web browser. This means you may one day be able to make audio or video call, stream files, or hold live presentations from your VoIP service provider’s website via a web browser. No need to download or install software. WebRTC also has better video quality than Flash, so you can expect clearer video calls, reduced audio/video latency, and faster connection times.
In short, WebRTC does not seek to replace VoIP; instead, it makes it even more accessible.