What is the difference between VoIP and IP telephony?

September 19, 2023

With landlines soon to be permanently switched off, small businesses and sole traders up and down the UK are switching to a digital phone system. But if you’re not feeling too confident, it’s not much fun being faced with endless jargon that leaves you scratching your head and more than a little frustrated.

The terms VoIP and IP telephony are often used interchangeably, but there are actually some key differences between them. Let’s take a look at some of the basics.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

We’ll start with VoIP.

VoIP is the technology that allows you to make a voice call over the internet. The internet itself uses certain protocols (called Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or TCP/IP), and it’s this development that’s known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). 

Basically, any system that uses the internet to transmit sound as data in ‘packets’ over the internet is VoIP.

VoIP phone systems come with huge benefits to small businesses over traditional landlines. Not only do they protect from the effects of the landline switch off, but they’re cloud-based too which means they can be used on other devices like tablets and smartphones. As long as you have a stable (preferably fibre) internet connection, you can then work from anywhere. The sound quality of calls is also higher and you don’t need to worry about poor signal or dropping out like you do with a mobile.

VoIP phone systems also come with a range of features to help you manage your calls more efficiently and professionally. With bOnline for instance, you can get call divert, call analytics data, voicemail, hold music and much more. Plus, our contracts are only 12 months long (rather than 18 or 24 months) for maximum flexibility, and our pricing packages are some of the best value around. You can even choose a local number for an area your business isn’t actually based in, like an 020 number!

So what is IP telephony?

IP telephony is built on the back of VoIP capability and comes with a whole load of extra software-based features that run on computers to replace the traditional copper landline telephone network.

Sometimes referred to as SIP phones, IP phones are designed for VoIP. They are connected to the data network (or broadband router in smaller businesses) instead of the phone network.

IP telephony is effectively just the businessy term for VoIP. When people speak about IP telephony, they’re actually just talking about the phones used to make a VoIP call rather than the VoIP call itself.

Fancy a free VoIP trial?

At bOnline we only focus on small and micro businesses, and start-ups. We know that for many people there just aren’t enough hours in the day and the thought of signing up for a new VoIP phone system isn’t exactly appealing.

How are you supposed to know what VoIP features you need? How do you set up VoIP and what does it all cost?

That’s why at bOnline we offer a free 7 day trial so you can test out all our cutting edge VoIP features with no commitment. Everything is set up remotely for us by us, so you don’t need any ‘techie’ knowledge yourself and we won’t be turning up at your home or workplace! There’s also no downtime, and you could well end up saving yourself some serious money too.

Get signed up for a free trial today, and don’t forget to check out some of our other handy articles too, including:

Got a question or concern?

If there’s something you’d like to know about any aspect of VoIP or the landline switch off, feel free to contact our expert team on 0203 617 9950. You might also want to look through our Help section.


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