This page answers 'how does VoIP work' question briefly and using diagrams. The concept of how VoIP works is easy to understand. You know, we all use different kind of methods to make a VoIP phone calls. Some of us use a laptop/desktop computer while others use a VoIP device such as: ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter), IP phone or other type of devices/systems.
Diagram 1. device to phone VoIP call method - a call from a VoIP device to phone
Once you initiate a VoIP call the following three scenarios takes place:
1. when we make a phone call - our voice signals are converted to digital packets
2. those packets travel via the Internet until they reach the final destination (called party)
3. at last the packets convert back to voice signals
We don't know or notice that as it is like behind a scene. During the above scenarios #2 and #3 here is what happens:
All the above happen at a twinkle-of-eye time speed that we don't even realize. Network professionals call the above voice packetization an encapsulation.
Now let's demonstrate the methods using figures...
Diagram 2. PC to PC VoIP basic method when we place a call from a computer to another computer
Diagram 3. PC to Phone - a call from computer to fixed and mobile phones...
To make a VoIP call we need:
2. VoIP software and/or a hardware
3. VoIP service provider
1. Internet network, VoIP works with many types of Internet access, such as..
2. VoIP software and/or hardware
3. VoIP Phone Service Provider
A VoIP provider, also known as Internet phone company and ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider), is a company that provides VoIP phone services and solutions, similar to your local telecom companies. A VoIP providers uses a technology to transmit our data, voice and video packets whereas traditional companies use PSTN lines.
VoIP providers offer different kind of VoIP services; few to mention:
That's briefly about how does VoIP work frequent asked question. Equipped with the above basic information it should not be difficult to understand and select the type of VoIP service that meets your needs.
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Related Further Reading (external links):
Voice Over Internet Protocol by FCC (Federal Communications Commission)