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A primer

What is VoIP?

If your business is still on a landline or on-prem phone system, have you considered VoIP instead? In this guide, we'll look at the "fine print" you should pay attention to and how to know if VoIP is a good option for your business. Or, if you're looking for a VoIP solution, why not sign up for a free trial of Dialpad to see it in action? It takes just a few minutes, and you'll be set up with a virtual phone number too.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol (sometimes referred to as "Internet telephony," "Voice over IP," or "IP telephony"). Enterprise VoIP technology allows voice signals to be transmitted over the Internet rather than how traditional telephone systems did it, through landlines.

Instead of working off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and using landlines, all VoIP requires is a broadband connection. You know how when phone lines go down, an entire city or state might experience an outage? That doesn't happen with VoIP.

📚 Further reading:

Learn more about VoIP vs landlines.

VoIP phone numbers work like traditional phone numbers too, except they're usually much easier to acquire and set up since everything is done over the Internet.

VoIP vs. PBX

(If you're interested in more of the technical stuff, Max, our resident telephony expert, wrote a detailed guide on VoIP vs PBX that goes into detail about terms like Session Initiation Protocol / SIP, RTP, and more.)

VoIP vs. SIP

How does VoIP work?

It's pretty simple. You usually sign up for a monthly or annual plan with a VoIP provider, who will also give you a virtual phone number. Using this number (and provided you have sufficient bandwidth), you’ll be able to make phone calls and even send SMS/MMS text messages from an Internet-enabled device.

With Dialpad as your VoIP phone system, for example, you can do this directly via the Dialpad app or a web browser. (No downloads needed!)

Frequently asked questions about VoIP

Is VoIP the same as Wi-Fi calling?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and Wi-Fi calling are both ways of making phone calls using an internet connection instead of a traditional phone line.

But, although both technologies allow you to make calls using an internet connection, there are some key differences between them.

For starters, VoIP is a technology that can be used with any internet connection, whereas Wi-Fi calling requires a strong and stable WiFi signal in order to work. This means that you can use VoIP even if you’re not in a location with good mobile reception.

Can a regular phone call a VoIP phone?

Can I use my iPhone or Android phone as a VoIP phone?

How do you tell if a number is a VoIP call?