What is VoIP?

Michael J. Lauria
3 min readNov 18, 2020

With technology constantly changing, so does how we communicate with others. A rapid growth that seems to not be slowing down anytime soon. In the world of telecommunications, you will hear many different acronyms, all with different meanings — one of them being VoIP. The acronym “VoIP” stands for Voice over Internet Protocol; this technology lets people place phone calls over an internet connection. As broadband has expanded, it has become the primary choice for those seeking phone services for both consumers and businesses. Many consumers have turned to use VoIP services over traditional phone lines, but why is that?

Why VoIP?

When introduced, VoIP came with the offer of more capabilities than standard phone lines. You can even make calls for half the cost of what you could with traditional landlines. Cloud phone service provides features that are not commonly offered with other phone services. With auto attendants, call recording, custom caller ID, voicemail to email, and more, VoIP is becoming far more widespread and is slowly phasing out traditional lines.

How Does It Work?

So long as you have an internet connection, you can call anyone you need to without using the local phone services. The use of VoIP has been built on years of open standards. Those providers that service VoIP do more than just establish calls; they also perform both the routing and outgoing of incoming calls through pre-existing telephone networks. Both landlines and cell phones depend on the Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN for short. Past telephone lines have used analog lines to help carry a signal for voice calls. Today you can make calls without the need for any extra wiring needing to be set up.

Voice over IP uses Internet protocol, which is an essential building block for the internet. IP telephony has become an immense innovation from what was once centuries-old telecommunications systems. When making phone calls, the conversation can be exchanged by using tiny data packets. The internet then sends those data packets around the world in less than a second. With internet telephony, these packets can be transmitted to your phone and a VoIP provider.

Pros and Cons

Like everything else, VoIP comes with its fair share of pros and cons. A benefit of VoIP is that it comes at a lower cost than what traditional phone lines would cost, making it a great cost saver for both consumers and businesses alike. VoIP also has better sound quality than conventional audio calls. The audio does not sound muffled or fuzzy. Advanced features also help companies to be able to use call recording and call queues. These features can often be accessed with a business phone service plan. VoIP is also remote-ready; you can use this service anywhere without any technical setup required. You can also make international calls for mere pennies.

The downsides of VoIP are that to use the service; you need a high-speed internet connection. VoIP doesn’t work well on dial-up or satellite-based connections. For VoIP to work, you will need a high-speed internet connection of 100 kbps per line that you need. You are also limited if you need emergency services; if you were in a situation where you would need to call 911, you would have to tell the operator your exact location. Due to Voice over IP systems, they send the signal of wherever the office location address is used to set up the accounts. The use of VoIP also makes the use of analog phones obsolete. You will want to upgrade any handsets that you might have.

For many, VoIP will win out over analog lines these days. It offers a better value, more cost efficiency, and has the most useful features. When you switch your service, it is highly unlikely that you will think about your old plan. Ask your VoIP provider about their current specials that they may be running and if you could be eligible for a free VoIP phone or an even better discount depending on the plan you decide to go with.





Michael J. Lauria

Michael J. Lauria is a Boston-based telecommunications professional and the President of COMTEL, Inc., who has experience in Real Estate. MichaelJLauria.net