What Is VoIP?

What is VoIP? Voice over Internet Protocol, known more commonly as VoIP, is a phone service that can save you money on your phone bill and give you extra calling features.

VoIP is an alternative to traditional circuit-switched phone service (also known as POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service).


VoIP is a system that uses your Internet connection to take and place phone calls.

Have you heard of Skype? That is what VoIP is, basically. PCs can use virtual phones (programs like Skype) to make calls because everything is digital with VoIP.

With VoIP, voice is converted into data packets, compressed for transportation, and sent over broadband Internet. Once it your call reaches the final destination, data is then uncompressed and converted from digital to analog at the call destination.


What is it that makes VoIP better than landline phone service?

VoIP is cheaper, convenient, and full of features that are more expensive with PSTN (public switch telephone network) service - that is what makes VoIP better than landline service.

VoIP takes advantage of newer technology and it's more efficient for consumers to use one type of physical cable for communication than several. In other words, you use only broadband cables instead of broadband cables and narrowband wires for two different services.

VoIP is also versatile. Phone service can be conventional or unconventional. It can run off of your computer with a softphone program or with a USB phone. You can use IP phones or plain old telephones with adapters for VoIP.

For a business, you can keep your conventional PBX with a SIP trunk, or you can use a hosted PBX from a VoIP provider.

A home landline with AT&T will cost you around $20 a month for local calling, and $20 more for long distance. That's at least $40 a month, unless you want added features like caller ID (which can cost $5 a month) or voicemail (again $5 a month).

Residential VoIP phone service will cost you around $10 to $20 a month, which includes local and long distance as well as some standard calling features. These features, common to all VoIP providers and included for free with subscription:

  • caller ID
  • call waiting
  • voicemail
  • 3-way calling

International calling also has very low rates because VoIP uses the Internet. If you make a lot of long-distance or international calls, VoIP will definitely lower your phone bill for this purpose.

That's why we think VoIP is worth looking at for phone service: efficiency, versatility, and the service is cheaper than basic landline. If you have a fast broadband Internet connection, VoIP phone service is very possible for you.

Read our FAQ on VoIP or check out some VoIP service providers below.

Recent Reviews

voip.ms logo
1

voip.ms

I apparently had an account with them that my consultant set up. I fired my consultant. They had a balance they insisted that I keep. What they did...

July 19th, 2016 - Kenneth Rapoport
magicJack for BUSINESS
5

magicJack for BUSINESS

We're a small business that needs a reliable phone system and uses it fairly often. We didn't want to pay out the nose for a phone system...

July 17th, 2016 - FAaron619

Most Recent Blog Posts

VoIP terms

Ditching the Jargon: Basic VoIP Terms to Understand

If you’ve just started to look into business Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system as an alternative to your traditional landline, then chances are you’ve come across various terms and...

Jul 29, 2016
VoIP phone system

VoIP Features Your Growing Business Needs

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems are the communication systems of choice for many businesses. Thanks to VoIP’s scalability, portability, cost-efficiency, and an impressive array of ...

Jul 25, 2016