Voip and Its Existing Drawbacks VOIP

By: Maneet Puri

Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP is a buzzword has become a much debated topic of late. Opinions vary from one to another; while some feel this could be an economical alternative to the existing PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), others think it has too many drawbacks and needs upgrading before it becomes really useful to us. However, I am sure, many of us would be wondering what this fuss is all about. Let's talk a bit more about VOIP here.

VOIP which is also known as Internet Telephony revolves around Internet. It is an emerging technology which makes phone calls much cheaper than ever before. Technically speaking, VOIP is a method that uses internet to make calls. So how does it work? Usually, in VOIP, voice travels a packet-switched network i.e, internet wherein the voice signal is digitized and broken into small packets or portions that are sent through a series of routers until they reach the recipient.

Existing Drawbacks of VOIP

VOIP has been touted as an economical option which, however, is subject to individual interpretation. A few companies who have tried this have thrown mixed response about its performance. This technology is still in its nascent phase. Many people who have been using PSTN services still consider this as unreliable. So, basically, VOIP is facing to challenges - reliability and performance.

Reliability

PSTN is considered to be more reliable than VOIP as the latter depend on equipments which require uninterrupted power supply for making phone calls possible. Although incase of cordless phones, your PBX or phone based system may require electricity, however, the phone lines themselves do not required to be powered. Hence, you are able to make calls even when there is no electricity. In case of VOIP, if you lose power, the line goes down. Moreover, the quality of internet connection also decides the quality of calls as well - if the internet connection goes down, you will be facing problems to make or receive calls. Further, the transmission errors, viruses threats and hack attacks can considerably bring down the network which affect the calling experience.

Performance

Calls in VOIP are routed through PBX systems and hence, the quality of the PBX systems decides the quality of the calling as well. Some users who have tried VOIP have negative experience about its reliability. For instance, sometimes the users would pick up the phone to find no dial tone and they would have to reboot the VOIP box before making or receiving a call. Similarly, other problems such as defective call ID reporting and much echo during the phone calls have contributed the popular disapproval of the VOIP as an alternative the existing PSTN system.

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