Voip? Am I saying that right? Voyeep? We know, but it sounds more complicated that it seems, chances are you’ve made a few VoIP calls during your life, whether it’s on Skype, Whatsapp or any other app that you use to commutate with people far away. But what is VoIP? This blog should be a simple guide to that question. Get ready to change your mind on how you think about long-distance calls, and REALLY long distance calls.

Voice over Internet Protocol is audio signals transferred over the Internet

So what is VoIP? In very simple terms, it is Voice over Internet Protocol, which turns analog audio signals (what phones use) into digital signals (compatible with the internet) and sends them over the internet.

illustration of VOIP connecting users from around the world

The digital signal sends packets of information through the internet to the other caller, similar to a website, which only sends signals when prompted, such as clicking a link, VoIP disregards useless information such as silence and sends information efficiently.

With VoIP, say goodbye to Long Distance

map showing distances between different countriesYou know how Colbert can talk to astronauts in Space live on his show? Well, I don’t either but chances are that’s VoIP. Normal phone plans charge you for making long-distance calls, even if they do it would only be for one or two locations. With VoIP, the distance is irrelevant, since signals are sent over the internet you can call to any part of the world that has an internet connection.

There are also other tricks to V0IP calls; there are certain programs (like FreeConference.com) that would allow VoIP calls to connect with a telephone call. Another trick is that since VoIP calls are sent as Digital Signals, callers can check their voicemails in their email.

VoIP calls to the USA

There are 3 main ways that US callers get access to VoIP calls:

  1. The Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA) hooks your home-phone to your computer which will turn your analog phone signals into digital signals that can be transmitted through the internet. This is the most common way of V0IP calls, since it only requires an adapter and software that is installed on the computer.
  2. The other way is the IP phone, which is exactly like a normal home-phone except instead of connecting to the phone jack on the wall, it plugs into your internet router, avoiding the need to install anything on your computer.
  3. And of course, there’s the “old-fashioned” computer. Calling through the computer is probably the easiest and most likely to be free option among the 3, since it would only use the bandwidth on the user’s internet plan.

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