Introduction to VoIP

VoIP is convenient, cheap, and comes with great features. If you are paying for landline phone service or traditional PBX service, you should consider a VoIP phone service. If you have a high-speed Internet connection, you are the perfect candidate for VoIP phone service.

VoIP phone service has come a long way in a very short time and is growing in popularity with both residential and business consumers. Reducing costs is a top priority for many consumers, especially in today's global economic climate, and a VoIP phone plan can help you significantly reduce your monthly phone bill.

Of course, you should see for yourself how VoIP can meet your needs. VoIP comes in a few different shapes and sizes, so it's important to know what's best for you. Read below for more detailed information on VoIP phone service.

infographic of a standard VoIP phone system

How Does VoIP Work?

VoIP is an innovative way to make cheap phone calls

VoIP phone service (Voice over IP; also known as digital phone service, digital telephony, or broadband phone) replaces your phone line with a high-speed Internet connection. It's that simple.

While traditional telephone service compresses your voice into a frequency on a wire, VoIP compresses the sound of your voice into packets of data. These compressed data packets are then sent over the Internet. When the data reaches the final destination, it is converted back to sound. If use VoIP to call someone on the traditional phone network (the "PSTN" or Public Switched Telephone Network), the VoIP call is converted to sound once it reaches the network and the call is routed normally. The difference is that you've paid a lot less for that call by using a VoIP service provider.

If you're a visual learner, the diagram to the right will help to show you how VoIP calls are routed. The most typical call path is phone-to-phone, which you can trace in the diagram from the Conventional Telephone to The Real World. This is what your call path will look like when it's routed by a VoIP company to the PSTN.

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VoIP international calling

What does VoIP mean for me?

You can utilize VoIP for more affordable calling

Choosing VoIP means saving money on your monthly phone bill without sacrificing quality or convenience.

Use VoIP like any other phone: pick up, wait for the tone, and dial the number. That's it. There are no extra numbers to dial and no special rules to follow. You don't need a new phone to call with VoIP, either; just a VoIP adapter or a mobile app on your mobile device. A majority of providers offer a BYOD service to make your transition to VoIP easy. And if you have a headset and VoIP software, then you can just call from your computer. Computer-to-computer calls may be free, too. But if you call the public network or an external phone from your computer, you will likely be charged per minute.

We recommend checking out VoIP phones and a VoIP phone service. VoIP service is much cheaper than traditional telephone service, especially when it comes to long distance and international calls. A majority of VoIP providers offer free local, long distance, and on-network calling. Some even give you free minutes! Also, VoIP solutions come complete with features for better productivity and call management. What's advanced for the phone company These features come standard with VoIP phones, while traditional .

One example is voicemail. You probably have some kind of answering machine with your old-school telephone. With VoIP voicemail, you get the improved functionality (for instance, the ability to call someone back directly and easily), plus you can get each voicemail emailed to you as an audio file attachment. You can even use your email to track missed calls or call the person back & directly from your email. That nifty feature is called "Click to Call."

high-speed internet for VoIP

Will VoIP tie up my Internet connection?

A high-speed Internet connection is a requirement for VoIP

The short answer is: no. Your broadband Internet and ISP (Internet Service Provider) can handle the slight increase in traffic due to your VoIP service. VoIP will not consume your Internet connection. You can still talk on the phone and browse the internet at the same time without a problem.

You should be wary, though, of how many users and/or devices are connected to your Internet. The more users and more concurrent calls, the stronger your broadband connection needs to be for quality VoIP calls.

If you are at all concerned about whether or not your Internet connection can handle a VoIP phone service, use our Speed Test to check your results. With our speed test, you will be able to see whether or not your current broadband connection is VoIP-ready. Plus, your results will show you what services are supported with your Internet. There is also a helpful troubleshooting guide on how to test your VoIP connection. 

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