Voice over IP, or IP telephony, is an efficient technology and group of communications systems for the transmission of audio and video messages over IP networks, including the Internet. The most widely used voice over IP networks is the Internet Telephony service (IP-T) and the SIP telephony service (VoIP)
IP telephony is an application-based telephony system that transmits its information via a telephone network rather than through conventional telephone lines. It is an extension of the analog telephony system which has been used in some countries for years now but was not utilized to a great extent in other countries until the recent introduction of IP-based telephony in the United States. Voice over IP can be either hosted by the companies or it can be installed by the end user.
IP-T allows users to make phone calls from their computers or other devices with standard hardware and software that support standard IP protocols. IP-T is used by large telecommunication companies, Internet service providers, and other service providers who want to make the process easier and more convenient for their customers. IP-T is similar to conventional long distance calling, except that instead of using an analog telephone system, calls are made through the Internet which can be used by any web browser.
The use of Internet telephony is commonly associated with online chat rooms and discussion forums. However, the basic concept of this communication has been around since the early days of the telephone as well.
Voice over IP enables Internet users to dial a specific number to make a call to another person using their voice over IP connection. To make the call, the user connects his or her computer to the host server where the phone call is routed.
The SIP telephony service is basically the software application which enables the transmission of voice data over the Internet instead of traditional telephony. It is used by small telecommunication companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as a way of reducing the costs and improving the quality of voice transmissions.
The most popular use of this service is voice over Internet telephony, especially the SIP-based one. In this kind of voice over IP, the host computer acts as an IP telephony equipment, so that it can be used even by people who do not have a full-fledged computer and Internet connection.
This kind of phone systems can be used to send text messages as well as phone calls. They can be programmed to do both.
A VoIP phone is just like a normal phone except that it uses the IP-based technology to transmit voice and video. Because VoIP is an IP-based technology, it is very difficult to trace the source of the calls made through the phone system.
In this case, the IP address of the network can be easily tracked down. By monitoring the traffic of voice over IP on the Internet, the service provider can easily determine the IP address of the VoIP phone and thus know the source of the calls made through the phone.
With this, it is very easy to trace the location of the owner of the IP telephony used in question. Even if the user is not present, the owner can easily be tracked down even if the phone stays on the Internet and the owner goes off-line for a while.
The voice over IP system also makes it possible to receive voice mail messages through the IP telephony as well as text messages, which mean that if a user gets a message on his or her cell phone, it will automatically be displayed on the computer screen or sent through email.
It also allows the owner of the IP phone to receive faxes without going through a mail server. Most VoIP phones allow an IP user to receive both incoming and outgoing faxes and it is also possible to send and receive files and emails through the phone without going through an Internet mail server.