What Is VoIP?
VoIP is a type of IP telephony, the transmission of voice over the Internet protocol. The technology allows you to make calls bypassing analog telephone lines or mobile networks – the data is transmitted over the Internet. In some cases, VoIP even works offline. Users usually have enough of a softphone – an application that performs the functions of a phone. Any device based on Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS is suitable for installation. You can use your number or choose a new one. For example, become a virtual subscriber of the Hong Kong or British Network and call local numbers – both landlines and mobiles – at a reduced rate. The user gets access to several fixed phones simultaneously, dispersed in different parts of the world, only they are all virtual – no wires or devices are usually required.
How Is It Different From Mobile Communications?
Today’s VoIP systems rely on the same cellular standards as mobile phones: EDGE, 3G, LTE (4G), and eventually 5G. But it’s faster and more reliable to use broadband.
The main advantage of the technology is you can make calls anywhere in the world without the Internet and roaming.
To do this, you need to create a link between two users and make a call from a mobile or landline phone. The system will create two virtual city numbers in the same region so that you can communicate without restrictions.
Many popular applications, such as Viber and WhatsApp, use the VoIP protocol. But you can make calls only if both interlocutors have installed the application and are connected to the Web. You also cannot change or select a number. Calling a landline number using the free messenger tariff will also fail. You will have to pay for roaming if you need to contact a bank or a hotel in another country. During the closure of borders due to the coronavirus, many faced this – it was necessary to resolve issues about canceling tickets, tours, and hotel reservations by phone. Some telecom companies then reduced roaming rates, but some customers still lost money on expensive calls.
What Are The Downsides?
It would be best to have a fast Internet connection for a VoIP system to work reliably. In Russia, this still needs to be solved in many regions. Of course, you can set up a service without access to the Web, but the functionality will be severely limited.
Many countries block popular services for censorship, so it is better to install programs from local providers in Russia – it’s more reliable.
Another issue is cybersecurity. Since cloud telephony uses the Internet to transfer data, the likelihood of a leak is higher than when calling from a landline phone. It’s best to use apps with solid encryption and update your modem’s firmware regularly.
In addition, popular services are often attacked by cybercriminals. For example, spammers regularly attack Skype, and scammers hack Zoom.