What is VoIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol?
According to voip-info.org, VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more common terms phone service over the Internet. If you have a reasonable quality Internet connection you can get phone service delivered through your Internet connection instead of from your local phone company.
Some people use VOIP in addition to their traditional phone service, since VOIP service providers usually offer lower rates than traditional phone companies, but sometimes doesn’t offer 911 service, phone directory listings, 411 service, or other common phone services. While many VoIP providers offer these services, consistent industry-wide means of offering these are still developing.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), also called IP telephony, according to WikipediA, is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. The terms Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service specifically refer to the provisioning of communications services (voice, fax, SMS, voice-messaging) over the public Internet, rather than via the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
Early providers of voice-over-IP services offered business models and technical solutions that mirrored the architecture of the legacy telephone network. Second-generation providers, such as Skype, built closed networks for private user bases, offering the benefit of free calls and convenience while potentially charging for access to other communication networks, such as the PSTN. This limited the freedom of users to mix-and-match third-party hardware and software. Third-generation providers, such as Google Talk, adopted the concept of federated VoIP - which is a departure from the architecture of the legacy networks. These solutions typically allow dynamic interconnection between users on any two domains on the Internet when a user wishes to place a call.
In addition to VoIP phones, VoIP is also available on many personal computers and other Internet access devices. Calls and SMS text messages may be sent over mobile data or Wi-Fi. VoIP allows modern communications technologies (including telephones, smartphones, voice and video conferencing, email, and presence detection) to be consolidated using a single unified communications system.