Since the invention of the internet, technology has evolved tremendously from static simple file sharing to dynamic file sharing capabilities such as online applications. One of the technologies that have emerged from internet evolution is VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. It refers to phone services, which are done via the internet. Today many VoIP provides offer free calls but are these calls really free? I am going to conduct a small research and find out if free VoIP calls are possible.
The ability to make a voice call over the internet has revolutionized the overall communications structure providing both quality and value added services. VoIP can take these forms: PC to PC, PC to mobile and also PC to landline. All you need is a reliable fast internet connection, and you are good to go. Unlike many people’s believes VoIP is not a complex technology that is only meant for businesses. It does not need special hardware for internet connection and can be used by anybody who loves communicating with people using rich media.
How VoIP works.
Normally, Data is transferred from one computer to another either in electrical or light signal depending on whether the connection media is copper wires or fibre optic. VoIP call is similar to the normal landline calls with the only different being that VoIP call are done over computer networks rather than the usual public switched telephone network (PSTN).It is also important to note that data in computer network is transferred in digital form while voice signal is analogue. When VoIP call is made, a communication channel between the caller and receiver is established over the Internet Protocol (IP). The analogue voice signal is converted into binary data-packets (digital signal), which can be transmitted on the data network. The data packets are then transported in this form to the recipient where they are again converted from digital to analogue signal. The conversion process in both ends takes place in fractions of a second such that the users hardly experience any delay.
Sometime it is necessary to compress the size of data being transported especially when we want to use less bandwidth. Speech codes are gadgets that are used to perform this task-data compression. They compress voice into data-packets and decompress it at the receivers end. Some VoIP codes are able to compress very large amounts of voice-data without compromising the quality of the service. Such speech codes are desirable because less bandwidth is needed hence the communication cost will be minimal.
Though, it is possible for a user to directly connect to another VoIP user without the services of a VoIP service provider, a lot of problems can arise especially if the VoIP devices are behind a Network Address Translation (TAN) router. Most home and enterprise networks depend on NAT routers to connect to the internet making the use VoIP service provider necessary.
VoIP providers are responsible for terminating voice calls to various VoIP service providers and PSTN networks. They usually have agreements with other service providers in different parts of the world for terminating, exchanging as well as origination of both PSTN and VoIP calls.
Free VoIP Calls – Is it Possible?
One of the main good things about VoIP is that it utilizes an already existing venue or infrastructure (internet connection) making it less expensive to set up. This is why VoIP calls are usually free. The only charges that a user incurs are those of normal internet connection. However, sometimes a small price can be incurred especially when VoIP is intended to completely replace’ PSTN’ services. Though this cost is way below what would have been incurred in standard phone calls. Even when a small fix monthly fee or a registration fee is required, VoIP is cheaper, sometimes up to 90%.
Why use VoIP?
There are two main reasons why you should use VoIP, the first is the low cost associated with it and the other one are increased functionality. Generally VoIP is less expensive compared to traditional call services. In addition, there are no additional resources require when you already have an existing underutilized internet connection. Also, both data and voice utilize a single network.
In terms of functionality, VoIP makes otherwise impossible or difficult functions with ‘traditional phone networks’ easy. For example, you can make and receive calls via the same VoIP number irrespective of the country you are in. This is not possible with traditional phone calls, as you are required to change your number every time you move to another country.
Like any other technology VoIP has draw backs. For example, sometimes users can experience jitters when making a video call. Another drawback is latency of information’ and security. Since it is internet based, there exists a threat signal interception by an attacker through this can be overcome through encryption.
Article provided by KNCTR app.