Voice over IPVoIP is an application that uses a combination of hardware and software to provide telephony services across an IP based network.
Hardware and software
At a minimum, the hardware required for VoIP includes network hardware such as network adapters, routers and switches. Now add gateways and PBXs. If a personal computer is being used as a softphone, the PC also needs a sound card, microphone and headphone. In a business environment, IP telephone handsets will most likely be used.
A VoIP system provides simple telephone conversations between two persons. This is as expected. It can also provide additional extended services of a modern telephone system such as conference calling and call forwarding. It can associate the telephone number with a name. Some services are unexpected, however. One such is moving the telephone to another location and having the call follow automatically. Employees can be reached by just dialing their extension, even if they are working from home that day.
IP based network
The Internet Protocol (IP) is a protocol used to transmit data in a reliable fashion over wide area and local area networks. Although not the only protocol, it is the only one allowed on the Internet and therefore, it is the overwhelming favorite to move data on modern systems. IP was not designed with voice traffic in mind; however, extensions to the protocol allow it to provide excellent voice quality.
People can use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls. For users who have free, or fixed-price Internet access, Internet telephony software essentially provides free telephone calls anywhere in the world. To date, however, Internet telephony does not offer the same quality of telephone service as direct telephone connections.When organizations require the highest voice quality, they may avoid the public Internet, but still use VoIP technology within their company and to their branch offices.