VoIP or voice over internet protocol is a technology that allows us to communicate just like we would regularly talk on the phone, but all of that is now simplified to only using a computer, an internet connection and a simple chat microphone. A lot of people who don’t even know they have used VoIP, they actually did use it a lot of times. A couple of great examples which are commonly known pieces of software would be Yahoo Messenger and Skype. For instance, in Yahoo messenger you can simply call anyone, leave offline voice messages and barely anything you can do with a regular land-line or mobile phone. With Skype, the essence is the same, but it’s a much more sophisticated and professional software, allowing users to do a lot of things.
The naming of VoIP (voice over internet protocol) simply comes from how these internet phone calls are actually made. The microphone you will use to communicate records analog signals (the sound of your voice), your sound card transforms these signals to digital signals which are understood by the computer and then these signals can easily be saved to files and they can easily be send through an internet protocol (thus the origins of the VoIP).
So, why would people choose to be users of any VoIP software and subscription when they could be using regular phones? The number one reason is comfort and saving money. For instance, if you have some friends you know you would share everything with, using software like Skype is free, whereas using the phone would be extremely expensive. Of course, they also need to download Skype and install it. Another great thing about Skype is that it allows (not for free) calls to normal phones. So the Skype system basically divides into two main parts:
• Skype to Skype calls, which are all free, regardless of how long they are. Skype also gives you the possibility to turn on the webcam, so that you can see each other (or one party can see the other while talking)
• Skype to phone calls, which differ from country to country and from landline to mobile phone numbers.
Am I trying to promote Skype? Not really. Actually, Skype is one of the best free VoIP applications, thus I am exemplifying the technologies used by VoIP and the basic powers and benefits of VoIP with Skype.
To be frank, voice over internet protocol will work best with high speed wireless internet connections. Of course, there is always the fear of being recorded (your conversations being recorded), especially if you use these services in cafes or other similar places. However, this is not a major concern in private areas, and the benefits will really be felt within a building (a company or an institution). In such places, it’s a whole lot simpler to manage your discussions with VoIP. Not to mention how much it would help the company’s or institution’s budget, since it is free or very cheap.
These are some basics of VoIP and you can try it out yourself and see how it will improve your everyday life!