In your small business research you might have come across the phrase VOIP. This might sound like some cool space aged robot from a sci-fi classic movie, but it isn’t. VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. The term refers to communication methods, technology, and transmission techniques that are used to deliver voice communications and multimedia messages over an Internet Protocol, or IP, system. Now, that might sound like a lot of confusing Internet terminology, but it is actually quite simple.

Basically, VOIP refers to any information that comes from a voice massage, fax, text message, or other means, but is transmitted over the Internet instead of switched telephone lines. There is often an encryption process that happens with the VOIP system that has to be encrypted on the sending end and decoded on the receiving end and this is all part of the VOIP system.

One simple VOIP system that most people are familiar with is Skype. This system is a series of closed networks that allow for private users to make free phone calls over the Internet. This system also allows for video conferencing, which makes a phone call into a face to face, or computer to computer, meeting.

VOIP programs have grown in popularity and now many mobile devices and smart phones are able to make VOIP connections.

The mainstream use of VOIP really started with technological developments in 2004. This is when people were first really using broadband Internet access, and allowed home users to make phone calls and receive phone calls from their broadband Internet system, rather than a landline. Since this technology is so low cost it quickly became a business option, shifting many businesses from using traditional phone lines to VOIP systems to help reduce their monthly costs.

Now many small businesses use VOIP services to help streamline all of their communication efforts. Now small businesses can take advantage of many packages deals that allow for all of their business communication needs to be handled by one source and for one cost. Phone calls, voice mail services, email, faxes, and more can all be taken care of through one VOIP service. Now this is spreading out even further to include cell phone services.

Yes, using a VOIP system is less expensive than traditional phone systems, but it is also smarter too. Now all of your communication needs can be filtered through one simple program, which makes it a lot easier to use and handle if changes need to be made.