Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), sometimes called Internet Calling or IP Telephony is a very cheap (if not free) alternative to making standard phone calls. In the most basic sense, VoIP technology is when voice is transmitted over a digital network using a set of rules that ensure orderly communications over internet. This “set of rules” is the protocol. Voice communications over the internet are enhanced with VoIP because private, public, corporate, cable, and wireless networks are supported as the basis of IP networking. VoIP further enhances these communications by converging a businesses multiple locations and it’s field/mobile workers into one single communications network with an ever-growing range of features and support services.

Digital IP Services, LLC, a company that provides business telephone systems in San Antonio,  points out one instance where VoIP is advantageous over a classic “circuit-switched” network. This advantage is that, in a plain old telephone service (POTS) when a circuit or line is down, a call can’t be made or connected. In a VoIP network, multiple routes or lines are established and voice information “packets” can access and travel any of the available routes. Therefore, if one or more of the network supporting lines is out of service, the information packet can divert to a multitude of other working routes to keep the call connected. It’s also important to point-out that a business or company’s already existing packet-switched network infrastructure can be utilized to transmit voice signals just as it currently does with computer data.

For businesses that value efficiency and quality, VoIP comes with features that enhance the interactions between employees and in turn, further enhances communications with customers. VoIP drastically cuts the cost of communication as well. A popular free VoIP service that many already use and are familiar with is Skype, which has linked people worldwide through instant messages and voice/video calls.

Skype is an example of a VoIP service combined with a VoIP app. A VoIP app allows a device or computer to run a VoIP service, some of these apps can be a stand-alone from a service, as some VoIP services can be a stand-alone from a VoIP app. Therefore, a standalone VoIP app can be combined with a stand-alone VoIP service to enable your computer or device to utilize VoIP functions. Alternately, some VoIP services offer a combination of VoIP service and VoIP app as in the case of Skype, for example. If you have a computer or device with a good internet connection and is equipped with a microphone and speakers, with a combined or combinable VoIP apps and VoIP services, you can communicate using VoIP for free. This way of communicating through VoIP can also extend to home phones as well as mobile phones and also PDAs.

With the versatility of VoIP over a broad range of technologies, the ever-growing array of features available with VoIP, and the low or no-cost communication through VoIP, it’s no mystery that VoIP communication has gained huge popularity with businesses as a better alternative to plain old telephone services.