The Essential Terminology of VoIP Phone Systems
If your business is in the market to find a better unified communications system, you’ve probably been reading about a ton of systems and services with descriptions that are so confusing, you’re thinking about hiring a codebreaker to let you know what you’re actually purchasing. Fear not! Here are a few of the most common and most important terms you need to know when it comes to business telephone systems and security systems:
IP Address: IP stands for “Internet Protocol,” and IP addresses are used to identify individual electronic devices so that they can communicate with each other.
Telephony system: This refers to any unified communications system that transmits voice, text, or visual data through an internet connection rather than through a public telephone network. VoIP telephony systems are often used in businesses for secure conversations, but telephony connections can technically include everything from fax services to text messages.
VoIP: VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol,” and you’ll probably see this acronym whenever you’re looking at VoIP phone systems. VoIP technology allows you to have a conversation through a secure internet connection, rather than through a regular phone line. VoIP phone systems use technology that converts sound waves into data files that can be transmitted wirelessly and reassembled on the other end, allowing you to have a real-time conversation with another person.
SIP: SIP stands for “Session Initiation Protocol,” and it’s the system that most VoIP communication lines use, rather than the traditional “HTTP” address used for normal online activity.
Codec: Codecs are the building blocks for all of these VoIP unified communications systems; a codec is what’s used to translate sound waves (like a voice) into digital data that gets transmitted through an IP network. There are different kinds of codecs (the best ones usually focus on saving bandwidth and optimizing sound quality), and although it’s not essential that you understand all the differences here, you should understand how and why codecs are important in VoIP phone systems and camera systems.
There are definitely plenty of other important terms and acronyms you should know when dealing with VoIP phone systems, and we encourage you to add any additional words or phrases in the comments section — but hopefully this list is a good start!