IP telephony is a way to call over the internet instead of using the traditional telephone network. IP stands for Internet Protocol, the technical standard for sending information over the internet. Learn more about IP telephony and VoIP in this post!
IP or VoIP?
IP telephony is sometimes called VoIP (Voice over IP), broadband telephony, or internet telephony. Regardless of the name, it is about the same thing: making and receiving calls via the internet. IP telephony does not belong to the fixed telephone network and is not connected via the same copper wires as ordinary calls. When you call via IP telephony, the information is sent as data.
How does IP telephony work?
IP telephony works much like regular telephony. The only difference is that you call via your broadband instead of the telephone network.
To be able to use IP telephony, you need an IP telephony subscription and an adapter. You plug your phone into a box, which in turn connects to the broadband connection – and then you call as usual.
IP as technology is about transmitting audio and video over the internet in real-time. That is done by dividing the information into smaller data packets to make it easier and faster to send.
What is the difference between IP telephony and regular telephony?
The most substantial difference between IP telephony and ordinary telephony is that IP telephony uses the internet instead of the traditional telephone network. With IP telephony, you use the same network for telephone services as for surfing the net.
The only thing required for IP telephony to work is a reliable and stable broadband connection. With IP telephony, you do not need to use a telephone to make calls – it is often just as easy to do it via the computer through a so-called softphone. The main thing is that the device you are using to make a call is connected to the IP network in one way or another.
Traditional telephony always requires the same capacity to make a call, while IP telephony uses the available capacity. The data traffic that a call via IP telephony generates is small. That makes it a cheap, often almost free, solution to call online.
What are the advantages of IP telephony?
- It's cheap – sometimes even for free! IP telephony is much cheaper than traditional phone calls because you do not have to pay an extra network fee and often no subscription fee.
- It is flexible. You only need to have access to a computer and the internet to make and receive calls, which means you can use IP telephony almost anywhere.
- The sound quality is great. Many IP telephony services offer high-quality audio via your computer or smartphone.