Voice Over Internet Protocol – Voice Through Post Cards

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Voice Over Internet Protocol – Voice Through Post Cards


Many contend that the Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is one of the greatest innovations to human communication. For such a strong claim, one can be lead to ask, why is this so? How is the VoIP different from the invention of the telephone, which also broke the impossibility of slow inefficient communication over a great distance? Well, to understand this, one must understand how VoIP works.

How Does VoIP Work?

As the name suggests, VoIP is voice sent over the Internet. The secret to its success lies in VoIP's capability to send voice in packets. As Vint Cerf, more commonly referred to as Father of the Internet, put it, packs can be thought of as postal cards sent over the mail. Each card contains limited information that needs the other cards to display the full message-a piece of the puzzle. Once received and assembled the postal cards may reveal the full message as opposed to one long letter.

Before this can happen though, several steps must take place.

First, audio must be sampled through the computer. Sampling is a process that records and stores a tiny bit of audio. In VoIP though, instead of being stored in the computer, the bits and pieces of audio are sent over the IP network. Overall, these audio bits get converted back into whatever type is compatible with the receiver's instrument-be it another computer or a telephone-so the receiver may be able to listen to the full and complete recording.

However, before the audio gets sent to the other end of the line, it needs to be compressed to be able to travel more smoothly over the Internet. Compressing the audio will have them require less space so it can be transmitted faster over the IP network. The main process of compressing audio is via CODEC (compressor / decompressor). Many CODECs are available for VoIP as well as for other multimedia files like video or photos. Basically, CODECs reduce the bandwidth of these files for easier transmission. When the audio bits are compressed, they are then collected to form larger chunks and placed into data packets ready to be sent. A standard IP packet contains more or less 10 milliseconds worth of audio.

The final step for VoIP to work now involves the other end of the communicating parties. Once the IP packets have been sent, the receiving end must be able to read the digital audio bits, otherwise, using the VoIP for communicating would have been useless.

There are two ways to make this possible. It depends on the receiving users though, if they are receiving the IP packets through an analog technology (telephone, cellphone, etc.) or digital (also through the Internet). There is no problem if they receive it digitally, because then, it can automatically be read. This is how Skype works.

However, for analog technology users, they must possess a converter that converges the digital data to a signal that can be read by the analog device.


Source by Tina L Douglas

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