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What is Voice Over IP (VoIP) and How Does it Work? - Cisco

Basic systems handle all routing and conversions offsite , so customers just need compatible phones with the right settings. Mid-range systems do not require more hardware to be installed, but will add a few features as standard such as:. Beyond the investment needed for the hardware, and installation and integration costs, plan prices will in fact not be much higher.

Basic systems Basic systems handle all routing and conversions offsite , so customers just need compatible phones with the right settings. By continuing browsing, you accept the use of cookies, which will notably offer content, services, and specifications related to your interests. In the midth century, the demand grew, and multiple lines were installed to handle the growing number of phone calls. Businesses began using separate lines for each internal department. However, they still had to pay for each expensive call, including calls made between departments, which cost just a much as a call made across town.

As these costs grew, the need for a better solution was soon apparent. This sparked a business telephone revolution that would continue to develop through the 21st century and into the digital revolution. The first PBX system was developed by lawyers in the s and required a human operator to manually direct calls. By hiring their own operators and purchasing or renting a small number of telephone lines and blocks of switchboards, companies were able to use a large number of phones for less. The fact remained, phone calls still required a human operator.

Automated switchboards had been used by public services for several decades, but private businesses were hesitant to use this often unreliable technology.

Understanding VOIP systems

Without the need for a human operator, PBX systems became even more affordable and popular. As businesses moved from using public services, they discovered more perks offered by their new systems, including extension dialing, hunt groups, and call forwarding. This system, which is still the telephone system most commonly used by corporations today, was built much like a desktop computer. It was designed as a large cabinet that housed a hard drive, central processing unit CPU , random access memory RAM , and operating system.

Businesses could easily add hold music or additional telephone lines by purchasing new boards to add to the cabinet, which was smaller than previous systems. Unfortunately, this new system could be a costly investment. Those easily added boards were only available with 16 lines, which forced companies to buy more lines than they needed. Analog telephone calls are converted to digital signals. The digital signals are translated into Internet Protocol IP packets. The IP packets are converted back to telephone signals, and received by a telephone on the other end.

Understanding What VoIP Means

VoIP makes voice and data networks converge: users had access to the internet, analog phone calls, and VoIP phone calls all through the same line. This new system was revolutionary for many businesses, but it was still an investment. Companies had to once again replace their equipment and software, this time with expensive IP systems and phones. As the internet continued to develop, new possibilities arose. This negates the need for building an on-site server closet or other expensive infrastructure. From there, your VoIP solution can begin accessing any number of devices and utilizing them for communications.

The amazing thing about how VoIP works is the flexibility you have to use nearly any device you want.

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With so many companies converting to non-traditional work schedules and the popularity of remote travel, this is the first time users are able to stay connected with ease to in-office communication. The diagram below outlines how SIP Trunking might work for your business. It acts as the direct line to your VoIP service provider instead of running on the same internet connection as the rest of your business data. Why would a business need SIP trunking? In most cases, SIP trunking allows all voice communication to travel over a dedicated line.

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A dedicated line means that only your voice data would run across it, saving your main LAN network for other workflow uses like email, instant messaging, file uploading and downloading. It is funneled in much the same way until it reaches the business location and is hardwired into a server likely where PBX is set-up. So why are businesses interested in SIP Trunks?

The biggest benefit comes if you already have a hardwired telephone system on site. First off, you can expect to save money. Once you have a VoIP system up and running, the benefits to your business are undeniable. The savings alone are reason enough to make the switch.

Typical system prices

What types of features does VoIP offer? The answer: many! In addition to some serious cost savings , numerous phone features are another huge reason so many companies are switching to VoIP. Nextiva, for example, offers a host of popular features that can help with productivity and business growth. Some of them you may have heard of, but some are new additions.

Lets run through an abbreviated list:. Call Parking — Call parking is another popular feature among businesses. It gives the user the ability to place a call on hold, move to another location, and pick the call back up on another phone or device. This is a transcription service that listens to your voicemail, transcribes it and then sends it directly to your email.

This works great for users who might not be able to access their voicemail immediately, but want to stay in the know.

What is SIP?

Auto Attendant — Auto Attendant works great for smaller companies that may not have the resources for a receptionist to direct calls. If you run a company with various departments, it makes it easier for your customers to access the right person. Check out these features and more at this link. So, what is a codec? A codec is a piece of software or hardware depending on the device built into your modem or accessed through an adapter.

Its sole responsibility is to convert your voice into data. As you speak, your voice travels over the IP network where the Codec decodes your voice, turns it into data that gets sent through the network, and then converts it back to audio when it reaches the end destination. Codec takes in several thousand voice samples the span of just a millisecond.

These samples are responsible for the clarity you hear when speaking to someone on the phone. Once the codec converts your voice into data, that data then gets divided into hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller pieces called data packets. These packets are transmitted to their end destination in a matter of milliseconds before being reassembled in their proper order.