VoIP Concepts and Jargons

Let’s start at the very beginning of unraveling the mystery of VoIP by understanding the jargons that are commonly used to explain about VoIP. It will also help you converse with your service providers and get the necessary devices / services that you want for VoIP.

  1. VoIP (Voice-over-internet-protocol): Is a method of communication. Each computer has an IP (internet protocol) address that provides connection with other computers. The information that travels across these computers is known as ‘data packets’. The data packets interact with each other over IP addresses and enable communication. When our voices are sent as such data packets, it is known as Voice-over-Internet-Protocol.
  2. Broadband: Our regular phone lines are known as ‘baseband lines’ and capable of carrying 29.6 kbps of voice communication as analog data. With the introduction of internet, there was a need for a faster mode of transmission. This lead to the emergence of ‘broadband’ which is capable of transmitting different modes of data, various types of frequencies. Hence, it is also known as ‘high speed internet’.
  3. Analog data: What we hear and see is nothing but a continuous flow of information and is known as analog data. While digital data varies from it as it reads only ones and zeroes from the data. Analog data needs to be converted to digital data in order to be recognized by computers.
  4. Ethernet: It is a type of protocol that reins the way data is broadcasted over a local area network (LAN). It is not a wireless technology. The Ethernet port is like a RJ-45 jack that resembles a telephone jack.
  5. DSL modem (Digital Subscriber Line): This is one of the types of broadband technologies used. It requires a telephone line and services provided by a telephone services company. It is faster than dial-up connections and allows the DSL customer to talk on the same telephone though it is connected to the internet.
  6. Router: An electronic hardware that is essential to connect two or more computers with different network addresses.  It can be both wired and wireless. It functions as a sort of filter as it chooses only authorized machines to connect to other machines. Examples of routers could be DSL modem, cable modem.
  7. ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter): A device that connects telephones or analog devices to a broadband cable, DSL, or VoIP. It converts the analog transmission to voice signals / IP data packets to initiate communication.  They are mostly less expensive than VoIP phones.
  8. IP Phone:  Is a telephone device that uses VoIP technologies over IP addresses to make telephone calls. They can be based on software called ‘softphones’ which is installed in the system of the user or a physical device like the traditional phones.
  9. Microphone: Known as ‘mike’ in short, is a device that converts sound waves into electrical waves. It is used to talk while making calls over the internet.
  10. Audio conference:  VoIP connects participants of a call to a server known as ‘Conference Bridge’ that allows many people to communicate with each other through telephones, computers, or IP phones.  Not all VoIP service providers have this feature for their customers.

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