Voice over IP

The Basics

Get an overview of Voice over IP, and learn how it can save money, improve security, and provide a variety of other communications benefits.

Voice over IP

What is voice over IP? How is it different from unified communications? And how can it help your business?

Voice over IP and Internet Protocol (IP) telephony are becoming increasingly popular with companies and consumers alike. Voice over IP provides your business with a foundation for more advanced unified communications applications - including web and video conferencing - that can transform the way you do business.

Benefits of Voice over IP

Voice over IP and unified communications allow you to:

  • Reduce travel and training costs, through web and video conferencing.
  • Easily grow your phone system as needed.
  • Have one phone number ring simultaneously on multiple devices, helping employees stay connected to each other and to customers.
  • Reduce your phone charges.
  • Use a single network for voice and data, simplifying management and reducing costs.
  • Access your phone system's features at home or at client offices, airports, hotels, or anywhere else there is a broadband connection.

Voice over IP Useful Terms

  • Voice over IP refers to a way to carry phone calls over an IP data network, whether on the Internet or your own internal network. A primary benefit of Voice over IP is its ability to reduce expenses, since telephone calls travel over the data network rather than the phone company's network.
  • IP telephony encompasses the full suite of Voice over IP-enabled services, including the interconnection of phones for communications, related services such as billing and dialing plans, and basic features that can include conferencing, transfer, forward, and hold.
  • IP communications supports features such as unified messaging, integrated contact centers, and multimedia conferencing with voice, data, and video.
  • Unified communications takes IP communications further by using such technologies such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), along with mobility solutions, to unify and simply all forms of communications, independent of location, time, or device.

Voice over IP Services

Voice over IP is available in a wide variety of services. Some basic and free Voice over IP services require all parties to be at their computers to make or receive calls. Others support calling from a traditional telephone handset or even a cell phone to any other phone.

Voice over IP Equipment

For Voice over IP, you need a broadband Internet connection, plus a traditional phone and an adapter, or a Voice over IP-enabled phone, or Voice over IP software on your computer.

Voice over IP Security and Service Quality

Most consumer Voice over IP services use the public Internet for phone calls. But many businesses are using Voice over IP and unified communications on their private networks. That's because private networks provide stronger security and service quality than the Internet.

Voice over IP Compared to Unified Communications

Unified communications systems offer more features and benefits than Voice over IP. It brings together all forms of communication regardless of location, time or device. Faxes, email, and voicemail are all delivered to a single inbox. You can integrate your phone and customer relationship management (CRM) systems to improve your customer service, and much more.


For more information please visit: Unified Communications Overview