Important VoIP Terms


When considering using a VoIP phone system in your office, it is important that you understand the terms associated with it.  Here are some commonly used VoIP terms that you should be familiar with:

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
A high-speed broadband Internet connection utilizing copper wire to transmit data over the phone lines between ADSL modems.  It has a faster download speed than upload speed, which makes it different from DSL connections.

Analog (analogue)
An analog system is considered to be the traditional telephone system, and it works by converting sounds or video signals into electrical vibrations so they can be transmitted or reproduced.

Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA)
This allows you to use your existing, traditional handset even though you have a VoIP connection by converting your VoIP signal into a standard telephone signal. 

The amount of time it takes a specific volume of data to be sent from one computer to another utilizing a certain connection.  The higher the bandwidth, the faster data is accessible.  Bandwidth is measured in bits per second.

The general term for any Internet connection that transmits and receives data at a rate of 100kbps or higher.

Data Packet
All data transmitted over the Internet uses the same basic technology.  When this data is transmitted, it is sent in blocks of digital data called packets. 

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
A type of broadband internet connection that transmits data though the copper wire of the phone system. However, it bypasses circuit-switching, therefore making it faster than dial-up connections.

Used in the majority of computer network connections, it is a digital networking system that involves a process known as packet switching, in which client requests are routed to their correct destination in the network. 

Internet Protocol Address (IP Address)
Address of a computer that is connected to the Internet.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A company that provides Internet access to consumers, allowing them to connect their computers to the Internet.

A unit of data routed between the origin of the message and a destination on the Internet. When your message is sent over the Internet, it is divided into units containing data   from their source and information about where to be filed once they reaches their destination.    

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)
Traditional phone system that uses a copper wire network to carry analog voice data.  Also called a ‘landline network.’

This is used to connect computers in an Ethernet network.

Refers to any VoIP service that is software based (using your computer as a telephone)

Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
System of sending phone calls over the Internet


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