VoIP Terms and Vocabulary
Before you begin making equipment purchases or comparing service quotes, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with some common industry terms. The better you are able to communicate with phone system vendors, the likelier you are to get the best deal.
Voice over Internet Protocol phone systems use an internet connection- rather than telephone lines- to make calls. Switching to a VoIP system can save you thousands on your monthly phone bill. Before you switch, you’ll need to make sure that your office has the capacity to support a VoIP option. You’ll need a fast internet connection, VoIP phones or VoIP adapters for your current telephones, and any necessary equipment required by the VoIP phone system provider you choose to work with.
Before you begin making equipment purchases or comparing service quotes, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with some common industry terms. The better you are able to communicate with phone system vendors, the likelier you are to get the best deal. Here are a few VoIP phone industry terms:
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL): A type of internet connection that transmits information using twisted copper wire cables. This type of connection is faster than a DSL connection.
Analog (Analogue): A term used to describe a traditional or “land line” phone system. An analog converts sounds into electrical vibrations and sends them via telephone cables. The vibrations are reproduced and converted into sound on the other end of the line.
Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA): An adapter converts a traditional or analog phone into a VoIP phone without the need to buy a separate headset or terminal.
Bandwidth: The speed at which information travels (using a specific type of connection). Bandwidth is measured in bits per second.
Broadband: An internet connection that transmits information at a rate of 100kbps or higher.
Data Packet: In the context of VoIP systems, a data packet is the basic unit that voice or sound data is broken down into before it is transmitted over a VoIP phone.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL): A type of broadband Internet connection that uses copper telephone wire to send information. DSL connections are faster than dial-up.
Internet Service Provider (ISP): A company that provides Internet connectivity service.
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN): A traditional phone system, where calls have a geographic origin.
Router: A device needed to connect to the internet.
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