V O I P: The Next Generation Telephone

by : Jim Brown

Voice Over Internet Protocol is what VOIP means to some who are unfamiliar with this technology. This is not a new technology. In fact, a concept of VOIP is used by most people without even knowing it. It's the computer to computer VOIP. It has been pre-installed to an OS widely used by computer users around the world. This software is used primarily for text chat but it has capabilities of sending digital voice through the internet.

VOIP bypasses the widely used voice telephony and converts its analog voice signals to digital signals so that computers can encode and send them through the internet network. Since the charging for using VOIP itself is free, all the user needs to have is a high speed internet connection or at least a DSL connection which is not new to internet users worldwide. The technology is said to change the way we communicate in the near future and a possible replacement to the current telephone system.

There are three types of VOIP system that are currently used. The most common and widely used is the computer to computer VOIP, the IP Phone, the Analog Telephone Adapter or ATA. Since there are three types of VOIP systems, the user is not restricted to only one choice but can have all three or can pair up to any three connections without hassle. The definitions of each type of VOIP are as follows:

Computer to Computer

This is the most common type of VOIP system since this technology comes with the widely used messenger softwares such as yahoo messenger or msn messenger. Since these applications can be downloaded or pre-installed with some other software for free, many users prefer to use this.

IP Phone

Another VOIP system used is the IP Phone. This computer peripheral shares the internet connection with the computer to connect with other VOIP users. This component looks like an ordinary phone and cradle but has wires connecting to the computer or directly to the modem or router. This can be a stand alone device to connect to the internet even without the aide of a computer.

Analog Telephone Adapter or ATA

This VOIP system converts analog signals converted by the ordinary telephone and sends it through the DSL or cable connection as digital signals which can be interpreted by computers as data. The hardware of this system looks like twice the size of a dial up modem and has LCD screens that let the user view the dialed number through the telephone keypad.

The technology has been constantly developed and studied by computer and telephony experts alike. Its system is already close to perfection and is widely used all over the world for business and leisure.