How Does VoIP Work?

The popularity of VoIP has revolutionized the telephone industry. But even our most seasoned customers wonder, “how does it work?” It’s a valid question.

Sending and receiving calls over the Internet is a new phenomenon, especially for a generation that has lived through the phone evolution we’ve experienced over the past 30 years. In this article we’ll talk about what VoIP is, how it works and how you can use it.


VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. The technology allows you to make phone calls over the Internet. It works by taking the audio signals you hear and turning them into data that is transferred over the Internet. Once the data reaches its destination, it is turned back into an audio signal that that recipient can listen to. This happens in just a few milliseconds, which allows you to have a conversation back and forth without any lag.

There are three primary ways that you can send and receive calls with this technology: ATA, IP Phones and Computer to Computer.


ATA, or Analog Telephone Adapter, is a device that connects your phone to the internet. In a simple sense, instead of plugging your phone into the wall socket, you plug it into the ATA. This then allows you to send and receive VoIP calls over that phone.

IP Phones

IP Phones look like and act just like a regular telephone. The major difference, however, is that IP Phones connect directly to the Internet without an ATA. You simply plug your IP Phone into your Internet router. IP Phones tend to have more feature than a regular phone, such as multiple lines and hold, which makes them popular with businesses using VoIP.

Computer to Computer

With an Internet connection, software and a headset, you can utilize this option and start sending and receiving VoIP calls over your computer. The software you'll likely use is a Softphone. Softphone software looks and acts just like a phone but instead of being a hard, deskphone, you use the phone directly on your computer. This software is available for download over the internet.


VoIP is also known for its variety of calling features. Unlike regular phone companies that charge extra for specific features like call forwarding and call waiting, most VoIP calling plans include these key calling features automatically.

Understanding the technology behind your VoIP phone service is extremely beneficial.