What is VoIP and how does it work?

Google Voice 6 images

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People over 30 years of age may remember the original MagicJack commercials. The company promises to cancel your phone bills with a small device that plugs into a USB port on a computer connected to the Internet. The device allows you to make phone calls anywhere in the world for just $19.95 per month. This device used VoIP, something that is fairly ubiquitous in today’s world. It is not difficult to make VoIP calls, and We can show you how to make VoiP calls. Despite that, in this article we are going to talk about what VoIP is, how it works, and how it compares to the old telephone networks.

quick answer

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is an almost ubiquitous technology that allows you to send voice calls over an Internet connection.

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What is VoIP?

Skype find someone

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VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a software technology that allows you to send phone calls over the Internet. Most people know that one on the top of their heads. After all, services like Discord, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more are used by hundreds of millions of people Many other great VoIP services, where you can contact people via internet connection instead of phone connection. Almost every application that is able to do this uses VoIP.

However, what some people may not know is that you can use VoIP to call actual, physical phone numbers. The technology supports the ability to convert your voice from a digital form into a telephone signal, making it compatible with legacy telephone networks. Some examples of this in practice include Skype, Google Voice, and similar services. The MagicJack mentioned in the introduction paragraph is also a good example.

VoIP is often used as an umbrella term to refer to any voice communications over an Internet connection.

What makes VoIP difficult to explain is that it’s kind of an umbrella term that describes most cases of using the Internet to make a voice call. There are many other terms that can describe making calls over the Internet, but VoIP is kind of an umbrella term that describes them all. If you’re on a voice call to another person and you’re using an internet connection, you’re using VoIP.

There is one last topic to talk about before we move on, and that is video. It is generally accepted that VoIP can refer to video communications as well as audio communications only. However, in practice, when people discuss VoIP, they are usually talking about voice calls.

How does VoIP work?

Google Voice 3 images

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Here is a general and simplified version of how VoIP works. It’s not really one piece of technology that works. It is a complete process described in one term.

  • You’re speaking into a microphone of some sort. Your voice is captured by your digital device.
  • Your digital device encodes them into a codec. we’ve got Explanation of video codecsand audio codecs work in much the same way.
  • This information is transferred over the Internet to the other device.
  • The other device decodes the signal and plays your voice to the other person.
  • When the other person responds, they perform the same steps.
  • If you or the other person is on a regular phone or cellular line, there is an extra step where the phone signal is converted to a digital signal (or vice versa).

It all happens fast enough that it’s essentially running in real time. However, as any gamer can tell you, there are some lags. You can actually hear this delay if you place a test call with someone in the same room as you. This delay is because all of the above steps happen before your audio is actually played on the other person’s device.

For video, it’s the same, except you can’t convert video to a phone signal.

VoIP vs Cell Phone vs Landlines: How Do They Compare?

Since VoIP often refers to voice calls, people often ask how it compares to landline and cellular signals. We will do our best to give you the details.

Google Voice The beginning

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VoIP features:

  • It can be used on any device connected to the internet, be it a personal computer. Laptop, mobile phone or tablet. Since almost every building has Wi-Fi these days, you are almost never short of internet, which makes VoIP usable almost everywhere.
  • It’s often free when making data-to-data calls between individuals.. It also scales well in business settings, and often costs less than cell phones or landlines. Most Applications that boast the ability to make free phone calls Use VoIP to do this.
  • It’s not hard to have multiple numbers, so you can separate things like work and home life. VoIP services are often the first services considered Stove phone numbers.
  • As long as your internet connection is good, calls are very stable and of good quality, and the handover from data signal to phone signal is often smooth.


VoIP Cons:

  • Emergency services on VoIP calls are a bit unorthodox. the The FCC has a PDF on the subjectBut long story short, emergency service calls may not go through if the phone service cannot determine where the VoIP call is coming from.
  • You need a stable internet connection to get a good VoIP service. Although it is not difficult to have a stable internet, things like instability, interference, and latency issues can cause unstable VoIP calls. These types of issues can be caused by all sorts of things.
  • It does not work in cases of power failure.
  • You may need to install multiple apps, since apps usually can’t communicate with each other. For example, you can use Skype to call other Skype members or pay to call a real phone number. However, you cannot use Skype to contact someone on Discord or WhatsApp.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra main screen and S Pen

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Pros of a cell phone:

  • comfort. It works just about anywhere as long as there is a phone tower fairly close. You cannot call 911 after a car accident from a land line.
  • No long distance fees. You can basically call whoever you want.
  • Modern cell phones, especially smartphones, also come with a data connection. This gives you access to VoIP along with a cell phone.
  • The world is built around the use of cell phones. Modern vehicles have built-in wired or wireless charging for phones. They can also make hands-free phone calls. Many companies have charging stations and local Wi-Fi networks. We live in a cell phone society.


Cellular Cons:

  • Massive power outages can destroy cell towers, rendering a cell phone useless.
  • Cell phones are the number one source of distraction while driving, which is a safety issue.
  • Cell phones have monthly plans that are more expensive than land lines or VoIP services.
  • Voice and call quality decreases as signal strength decreases.
Fixed phone photo album 2

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Advantages of landlines:

  • Wired land lines often still work in cases of power outages. They use a completely different system, usually buried underground. They are often immune to things like ice storms and hurricanes.
  • Given the above information, wired landlines are the most stable connection you can get, especially for emergency services.
  • The above also leads to clearer sound quality.
  • There are no batteries to charge, and it consumes very little energy.
  • Phones can be wiretapped manually but cannot be hacked remotely, which generally makes them more secure than cell phones or VoIP services.


Landline Cons:

  • uncomfortable. You can only use landlines at home. If you are using a corded phone, you should also stay next to the phone.
  • Many companies still charge extra for long distance calls, which you don’t get with VoIP or cellular plans.
  • Services such as Caller ID may cost extra or require additional equipment.
  • Wireless landline phones do not operate during a power outage because they need a secondary power source.


VoIP phones are phones that rely solely on an internet connection to make calls using VoIP. You can get specialized phone hardware that does this, or simply use an app like Google Voice or Skype to turn your smartphone into a VoIP phone.

VoIP numbers are digital phone numbers. It is generally connected to a conventional telephone line. If you have a VoIP number and someone calls it, their phone signal is converted into data, which is then sent to you. When you call, your data is converted into a phone signal and sent to the other person.

It is an application that facilitates VoIP calls. They can be data only calls like Discord or Facebook Messenger. Alternatively, they can be those that can make real phone calls, such as Google Voice or Skype.

A landline VoIP phone number is a VoIP number that is not tied to a traditional phone line. The user is assigned a default number instead. Using these types of VoIP numbers is usually okay, except that you can’t call emergency services with them because the phone service doesn’t know which 911 call center to send you to.

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