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What is VOIP? & are there different kinds??

When it comes to voip I hear people talking about 'skype' & also talking about voip telephone. So, what exactly is voip? Can anyone plzz explain me in a clear understanding way???
thnxx

Below is the recommendation and reference answer for question "What is VOIP? & are there different kinds??" It was collected and sorted by the editor of this site but not sure the answer is entirely accurate.

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. Other terms commonly associated with VoIP are IP telephony, Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service.

The term Internet telephony specifically refers to the provisioning of communications services (voice, fax, SMS, voice-messaging) over the public Internet, rather than via the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The steps and principles involved in originating VoIP telephone calls are similar to traditional digital telephony and involve signaling, channel setup, digitization of the analog voice signals, and encoding. Instead of being transmitted over a circuit-switched network, however, the digital information is packetized, and transmission occurs as IP packets over a packet-switched network. Such transmission entails careful considerations about resource management different from time-division multiplexing (TDM) networks.

Early providers of voice-over-IP services offered business models and technical solutions that mirrored the architecture of the legacy telephone network. Second-generation providers, such as Skype, have built closed networks for private user bases, offering the benefit of free calls and convenience while potentially charging for access to other communication networks, such as the PSTN. This has limited the freedom of users to mix-and-match third-party hardware and software. Third-generation providers, such as Google Talk, have adopted[1] the concept of federated VoIP—which is a departure from the architecture of the legacy networks. These solutions typically allow dynamic interconnection between users on any two domains on the Internet when a user wishes to place a call.

VoIP systems employ session control and signaling protocols to control the signaling, set-up, and tear-down of calls. They transport audio streams over IP networks using special media delivery protocols that encode voice, audio, video with audio codecs, and video codecs as Digital audio by streaming media. Various codecs exist that optimize the media stream based on application requirements and network bandwidth; some implementations rely on narrowband and compressed speech, while others support high fidelity stereo codecs. Some popular codecs include μ-law and a-law versions of G.711, G.722, a popular open source voice codec known as iLBC, a codec that only uses 8 kbit/s each way called G.729, and many others.

VoIP is available on many smartphones, personal computers, and on Internet access devices. Calls and SMS text messages may be sent over 3G/4G or Wi-Fi

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Some VoIP services may only allow you to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers. Also, while some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter.

How VoIP / Internet Voice Works

VoIP services convert your voice into a digital signal that travels over the Internet. If you are calling a regular phone number, the signal is converted to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the destination. VoIP can allow you to make a call directly from a computer, a special VoIP phone, or a traditional phone connected to a special adapter. In addition, wireless "hot spots" in locations such as airports, parks, and cafes allow you to connect to the Internet and may enable you to use VoIP service wirelessly.

How VoIP works
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?

A broadband (high speed Internet) connection is required. This can be through a cable modem, or high speed services such as DSL or a local area network. A computer, adaptor, or specialized phone is required. Some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, while other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter. If you use your computer, you will need some software and an inexpensive microphone. Special VoIP phones plug directly into your broadband connection and operate largely like a traditional telephone. If you use a telephone with a VoIP adapter, you'll be able to dial just as you always have, and the service provider may also provide a dial tone.
Is there a difference between making a Local Call and a Long Distance Call?

Some VoIP providers offer their services for free, normally only for calls to other subscribers to the service. Your VoIP provider may permit you to select an area code different from the area in which you live. It also means that people who call you may incur long distance charges depending on their area code and service.

Some VoIP providers charge for a long distance call to a number outside your calling area, similar to existing, traditional wireline telephone service. Other VoIP providers permit you to call anywhere at a flat rate for a fixed number of minutes.
If I have VoIP service, who can I call?

Depending upon your service, you might be limited only to other subscribers to the service, or you may be able to call anyone who has a telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers. If you are calling someone who has a regular analog phone, that person does not need any special equipment to talk to you. Some VoIP services may allow you to speak with more than one person at a time.
What Are Some Advantages of VoIP?

Some VoIP services offer features and services that are not available with a traditional phone, or are available but only for an additional fee. You may also be able to avoid paying for both a broadband connection and a traditional telephone line.
What Are Some disadvantages of VoIP?

If you're considering replacing your traditional telephone service with VoIP, there are some possible differences:

Some VoIP services don't work during power outages and the service provider may not offer backup power.
Not all VoIP services connect directly to emergency services through 9-1-1. For additional information, see VoIP & 911 Advisory.
VoIP providers may or may not offer directory assistance/white page listings.

Can I use my Computer While I talk on the Phone?

In most cases, yes.
Can I Take My Phone Adapter with me When I Travel?

Some VoIP service providers offer services that can be used wherever a high speed Internet connection available. Using a VoIP service from a new location may impact your ability to connect directly to emergency services through 9-1-1. For additional information, see VoIP & 911 Advisory.
Does my Computer Have to be Turned on?

Only if your service requires you to make calls using your computer. All VoIP services require your broadband Internet connection to be active.
How Do I Know If I have a VoIP phone Call?

If you have a special VoIP phone or a regular telephone connected to a VoIP adapter, the phone will ring like a traditional telephone. If your VoIP service requires you to make calls using your computer, the software supplied by your service provider will alert you when you have an incoming call.
Does the FCC Regulate VoIP?

In June 2005 the FCC imposed 911 obligations on providers of interconnected VoIP services VoIP services that allow users generally to make calls to and receive calls from the regular telephone network. You should know, however, that 911 calls using VoIP are handled differently than 911 calls using your regular telephone service. Please see our consumer fact sheet on VoIP and 911 services for complete information on these differences.

In addition, the FCC requires interconnected VoIP providers to comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA) and to contribute to the Universal Service Fund, which supports communications services in high-cost areas and for income-eligible telephone subscribers.

Aspects of these considerations may change with new developments in internet technology. You should always check with the VoIP service provider you choose to confirm any advantages and limitations to their service.

Note
Aspects of these considerations may change with new developments in internet technology. You should always check with the VoIP service provider you choose to confirm any advantages and limitations to their service.

voice over IP. some routers have a Phone socket that is for a Voip phone. Voip calls are free over the internet. SKYPE does the same thing but also has commercial options for paid services too. So a VOIP is NO PICTURE, Skype is Video To Video link with sound of course. and you can just use the sound only so its the same as Voip.

VoIP is voice over IP (internet protocol) basically a video call or an internet audio call Skype is an app that can do that & VoIP telephone could be something like a MagicJack.

Voice over IP - Phone calls over the internet....
2 main advantages..
1) The Phone follows you - anywhere in the world
2) because it is over the internet, and does not care where you are, all calls are cheap 'local' rates

There are different types, but the main way uses a protocol called SIP
SIP also supports picture and video messaging, so many VOIP/SIP phones and Software can automatically do Video calling also.

Skype is essentially also SIP, but has added some private (proprietary) extras, that means it cannot be used with normal SIP phones.

SIP/VOIP calls:
you have a user ID, and passpord...
And also you can 'add' a Phone No, and that lets you call other 'normal' phones, and normal phones call you ;)

You can get a SIP (VoIP) client, for your PC, your mobile phone, tablet or a standalone Phone that plugs into the internet, or an ATA (analog Telephone Adapter) that allows all your old phones to be plugged into the internet.

You can even get IP phones that use DECT to walkabout, eg from Siemens "GigaSet"
http://www.ligo.co.uk/siemens-gigaset-s7...

plug it in to the internet (where ever you are, hotel, home., work, Holiday, china, japan, Australia, US, Europe...) and your 'home' VoIP phone No is there.. with you. no roaming charges.

So if you want to do VoIP,
google for a SIP provider - even Vonage is a SIP provider
Sign up for an account (some are free)
and get a SIP client or phone
eg a free one for the PC is called X-lite (the call the paid for one Bream)
http://www.counterpath.com/x-lite/

Free SIP (Account) providers (you pay per call)
http://voip.about.com/od/sipandh323/tp/F...

I have & use an OOMA device. It's VOIP. Standard handset plugs into it and I'm able to call any number in the continental US FREE of Charge. .. No monthly charges either. One time expense of buying the device. It uses my Hi-Speed internet cable connection. . . see http://ooma.com/telo/ for more info. .

VoIP is voice over IP (internet protocol) basically a video call or an internet audio call Skype is an app that can do that & VoIP telephone could be something like a MagicJack.

VoIP is voice over IP (internet protocol) basically a video call or an internet audio call Skype is an app that can do that & VoIP telephone could be something like a MagicJack.