I was surprised to learn that not many people outside of this industry know what VoIP is. Every time someone new asks me what I do for work and I answer with “marketing for VoIP technology” almost immediately there is look of confusion followed by a “what is VoIP?” question. I’m left wondering, how can anyone STILL use analog technology when they could be using VoIP? If you are wondering the same—or even what VoIP is—you’ve come to the right place.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Basically, it’s communication that is sent over the Internet as opposed to the traditional copper wiring (analog). This means, that all VoIP communication is sent as packets or chunks of digital data over a LAN (Local Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network). Simple, right?
Next, let’s explore LAN vs. WAN
LAN or local-area network is a computer network that runs through a small area, for example a small office, home or space confined to a single room. While WAN is a network that interconnects with multiple local networks. Essentially, different LANs connected with one another.
Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s dive a bit deeper into the technical side. That’s where codecs, protocols, FXO and FXS come in.
A voice protocol dictates how your voice data packet is transmitted throughout your network. The most commonly known and used protocol is Session Initiation Protocol also known as SIP.
Codecs are the operation methods that are responsible for changing the analog voice stream coming from your handset into its digital packet for transferring over your network. Voice codecs determine the sound quality and the bandwidth required to send the packet through the network.
A good tip is to make sure that all your VoIP devices operate under the same codecs. This will ensure compatibility, ultimately integrating all your devices to run smoothly and efficiently with one another.
But, what if you don’t want to get rid of all your legacy systems but still want to upgrade to VoIP? No problem. In order to connect a traditional analog phone line to a VoIP system you would need an FXO gateway (or an analog telephone adapter). This allows you to connect your incoming analog FXS line, the line from the telephone provider, to the FXO port of the gateway. The FXS line is the port in your analog phone and the FXO port is the port found in your gateway or ATA. When both ports are connected, the end result is the easy-conversion of analog technology to a much more powerful and feature-rich network: VoIP.
This leads us to creating a VoIP network that unifies communications. The term Unified Communications refers to placing all communications under the same umbrella. The benefits of unifying your business communications are endless, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to streamlining. Unifying, managing, integrating and enhancing your business communication into one powerful IP solution will increase productivity all around.
Now that you know what all this big talk about VoIP is, let’s explore the benefits of going VoIP.
With VoIP you can lower the communication costs of your organization by integrating all your devices into one powerful network. That’s reduced cost for equipment lines, manpower and maintenance. That also means you can unify your team and increase productivity thanks to the power of streamlining. Ultimately, you’ll be upgrading to the most advanced technology available. A no-brainer in my book.
If you ask anyone at Grandstream, going VoIP is the right choice for any business communication, big or small. After all, VoIP is the core of our business and providing one solid IP solution that fits all communication needs comes as second nature. If you learned anything today, hopefully is that VoIP can significantly help your business work efficiently while also reducing operational costs.