What Is VoIP: Advantages And Drawbacks
Human societies have developed over the ages means to communicate,
between their members and between themselves. Once the advances
of civilization made their appearance in people’s lives, the
need for more became even greater. Therefore, it is not unusual
to see how fast the technology changes nowadays, how much reliable
it becomes and how much social impact it has.
Why is communication so important? First, because it links people
together and from this bonding, great achievements come to life.
Communication can be done in many ways. We all know that if we
want to get in touch with somebody, the basics that we need are
a pen and a piece of paper. The mail, one of the oldest means of
communication, still ranks high among the preferences of many. But,
because it takes days or even more to receive a letter, the speed
is the main drawback of the mail system. The telephone changed this,
by bringing people together, with just a dial away.
Telephones were taken to a whole new level, once the cell phones
appeared. Not only we can talk to each other, but we can do it from
almost anywhere. The Internet is now the most advanced way to communicate,
through its audio and video capabilities.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, appeared in 1973, when it
was in an experimental phase. It held a different name back then,
Network Voice Protocol, but it was actually, the same thing. VoIP
is related to Internet and its main advantages and people are now
more accustomed to it than they were in the past. That is why, VoIP
is also called IP Telephony, or Voice over Broadband, or Broadband
Telephony, or Internet Telephony.
This is how VoIP works. When they were invented, the Internet Protocols
were meant to transmit signals containing data. When we talk about
VoIP, we talk about protocols that carry voice signals.
There are many advantages for using VoIP. It is not out of the
ordinary to see people preferring it over so many other choices.
For instance, VoIP can be used because you use Internet. This is
a service that you pay for, so for every call over the Internet
you make, you do not have to use the phone. This results in savings
on telephone calls. The great thing is that you do not have to pay
extra for VoIP calls, because this service is included in your monthly
fee. There may be some services that work with VoIP and you must
pay for them, but the cost is not significant.
The costs involved are like this: from VoIP to VoIP, you do not
have to pay a dime; in case you want to make a phone call from VoIP
to a public telephone network, you will be charged a fee.
Here are the main advantages of VoIP:
- portability: if you have a VoIP phone, you do not have to worry
about area restraints; all your calls will appear on your VoIP
device, if a connection between you and a network exists
- freebies: you can enjoy a lot of free stuff due to VoIP technology,
like free phone numbers; carriers in UK and USA are known for
this kind of policy
- speed and reliability
- the same advantages like when you are connected to a public
telephone service; you can enjoy something like call waiting,
or automatic redial and you can even participate in a teleconference
due to your VoIP service
- advantages similar to using Internet, whether you want to transfer
some files or you want to transmit messages
- VoIP works great with instant messenger services.
VoIP is not only about advantages, though. Here is a list of drawbacks
of the system:
- VoIP does not work so great with faxes; transmitting a fax
requires a certain type of network and not all of the networks
used by people with VoIP systems are compatible; luckily, things
are about to change with new advances in VoIP technology
- the quality of the Internet connection influences greatly the
quality of your VoIP connection; in order to achieve greater stability,
it is recommended to use telephone lines for VoIP
- VoIP is not immune to power outages; when the power goes down,
you cannot use your VoIP service anymore; there are solutions,
however: you can redirect all your VoIP calls to your other phone
lines, or you can use a VoIP device with batteries that allow
you to receive your calls without missing anything;
The technological advance of VoIP is not over yet. For sure, the
VoIP services that we will use in the future will score higher and
higher in terms of efficiency and performance.