Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a way to make phone calls via the internet instead of an actual cell phone. All you need is a laptop or personal computer with a good microphone, speakers and an internet connection. Log on to the internet, make an account with a service that uses the technology and connect to people who also use that service. Skype is a popular service that uses VoIP.
VoIP is a cheap or sometimes free way to communicate. As you can imagine, it’s the new darling for businesses that rely on a lot of communication and employer-client-customer interaction. However, there are a lot of people who use it for personal communication, one on one meetings or training sessions. VoIP technology is way more cost-effective than traditional phones and it’s efficient and user friendly too.
So how does it work? VoIP uses IP protocol to transmit the sounds you make over standard Internet infrastructure. This makes it so you get to use the technology without having to pay for it as an actual service (unlike a mobile network). There are several services like Skype which use VoIP and each service is suited to the kind of communication you need.
People who work from home find VoIP especially convenient since they can set up meetings with clients and employers right from their desk. The technology has replaced the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System). However, it does have a few drawbacks such as voice quality, heavy dependency on bandwidth and power and security risks like malware, viruses and phishing attacks (when data thieves can get personal information from you). However, VoIP technology is growing and being updated so rapidly that soon a good service will eliminate some of those disadvantages.