Touted as the modern phone system, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is changing the way we make calls. Managed by service providers, and hosted in the cloud, VoIP reduces the costs of making phone calls both domestically and internationally.
For businesses, VoIP removes the need for a bulky phone set up by reducing the number of physical lines needed. Instead, physical lines are replaced with virtual extensions, which can be reached on any connected device. From desk phones to mobile phones.
VoIP offers far more flexibility as well, and benefits are seemingly endless. So, what exactly is VoIP, and is it the right solution for you? That’s what we’re here to discuss.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and allows you to make and receive phone calls digitally using the same networks used for the internet. Often used as an alternative to traditional phone companies, VoIP services providers have grown in popularity over recent years. Especially among businesses and companies that need an affordable way to handle a vast number of calls.
Before getting started with VoIP, it’s important to understand how your network will play into things. When most people refer to a VoIP network, they are referring to the internal network that connects your VoIP phones to your carrier’s network.
In reality, your VoIP network consists of two parts. The first being a local network that connects VoIP capable devices to the telecom carrier, and a WAN (Wide Area Network) operated by the carrier. If you’re interested in learning more about VoIP networks, how they work, and how to set them up, make sure to read our complete guide below.
The Telnyx complete guide to VoIP networks.
Understanding VoIP Numbers
One of the attractive features of VoIP numbers is their capability. Unlike traditional phone numbers, which are connected to a device and address, VoIP numbers are connected to a user. Making VoIP ideal for businesses or organizations who need a call to ring to multiple devices.
Since VoIP numbers are easily created and connected to devices, it’s relatively easy to format a number for any country. That doesn’t mean VoIP numbers don’t face the same regulations and restrictions as traditional phone numbers. To learn more about VoIP numbers, and regulations, check out our complete guide below.
The Telnyx guide to VoIP numbers.
Sometimes referred to as virtual phone numbers, non-fixed VoIP numbers are assigned to users rather than addresses or devices. In some cases, all it takes to obtain a non-fixed VoIP number is a payment method and email. Prime examples of these non-fixed numbers include Google Voice and Skype.
The benefits of non-fixed VoIP numbers are found in their flexibility. They are simple to provision, quick to reassign when needed, and easy to configure. However, there are also some disadvantages you should be aware of. For example, non-fixed numbers are a favorite for scammers and spammers, not usable in every situation, and not ideal for emergency calls.
If you’re curious about what a non-fixed VoIP number is, how it works, and where to get one. Make sure to read our complete guide below.
The Telnyx complete guide to non-fixed VoIP.
Unlike their non-fixed counterparts, fixed VoIP numbers are actually assigned to a physical address. Making them more similar to a traditional phone line that you may already be used to. We’ve talked about the benefits of non-fixed numbers, so, why would anyone want to opt for a fixed number instead?
The reason being, fixed VoIP numbers are more trustworthy. For some businesses, it may be worth sacrificing flexibility for authenticity. Fixed numbers can be used for just about anything, have better access to emergency services, and are actually more versatile than their landline counterparts.
That being said, fixed numbers aren’t easy to provision as non-fixed VoIP numbers, and face similar restrictions as landlines. If you’re wondering when to consider a VoIP number.
The Telnyx complete guide to fixed VoIP.
How to Get a VoIP Number
Obtaining a VoIP number is a lot easier than it sounds. In fact, the process is more streamlined than the process for getting a traditional phone number. All you need to do is choose your VoIP provider, and have them assign you your new VoIP number or numbers.
Contrary to what you may think, you don’t actually need any specialized equipment. So no, you don’t need a specialized VoIP phone in order to get a VoIP number. If you want to learn more about what and where to look for VoIP numbers, read our guide below.
The Telnyx guide on how to get a VoIP number.
Understanding VoIP codecs can get a little complicated. All that you really need to understand is that a codec is used to compress the data being transmitted to reduce the amount of internet bandwidth required. Another codec then decompresses the data on the receiving end to make that data usable again.
VoIP codecs matter because it directly affects the quality of the call. There’s a lot that goes into the calculations, which is why we put together an in-depth guide that you can read below.
The Telnyx guide to VoIP Codecs.
SIP Trunking vs VoIP
People are often confused when they try to understand the difference between SIP trunks and VoIP. The truth is, SIP vs VoIP isn’t a direct comparison. However, you should understand how the two terms differ to help you better understand what you’ll need when building your business’s communication solution.
We know that VoIP is the method of delivering voice communications over the internet. It’s really a broad term that encompasses a lot. However, SIP is the signaling protocol that is most commonly used with VoIP. To learn more about how VoIP works with SIP, and available alternatives, read through our guide below.
The Telnyx guide to SIP Trunking vs VoIP.
One of the main drawbacks of VoIP is the difficulty it can present when making emergency calls. Since there is often no physical address connected to the number, traditional methods of locating an emergency don’t work. That’s where e911 VoIP comes into play.
Enhanced 911, or e911, is a 911 location service for VoIP calls. The idea here is that your e911 VoIP solution should be able to send additional information to emergency services. To learn more about e911 VoIP, it’s capabilities, and requirements, make sure to read our extensive guide below.
The Telnyx guide to E911 requirements for VoIP.