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It all begins with the nature of the VoIP protocol – it is a computer-based, Internet-connected technology. This brings with it a plethora of questions and answers about how good it is, how affordable or expensive, how easy or complicated it is to setup and use, etc. It also creates the most important differentiator between normal telephony and VoIP – the reliance on the logical layer of the infrastructure, rather than the physical one.

In terms of useability, there are no major differences, if we just talk about the use of a desktop phone by lifting a handset when the phone rings and talking to the caller.

There may be major differentiators we can talk about, but – at the basic level, unless one uses some proprietary software solution such as Microsoft’s Skype or Google’s Hangouts, a phone call is a phone call and there is nothing different in a VoIP call. You dial a number, and you have a conversation with the other party :).

But the analogy stops there, as there are major differences, apparently both positive and negative, in everything else. Take for instance the quality of sound – most of today’s VoIP systems provide HD quality sound which is making a huge difference, when compared to old 8000Hz maximum frequency.

Another fundamental difference is in the “line” capacity – unlike landlines or ISDN connections, an Internet connection can carry virtually unlimited number of simultaneous calls – provided there is enough bandwidth.

We should also mention that Video calling is perfectly at home in a VoIP system whereas I doubt being possible using the old PSTN technology.

Last, but not least, the ultimate differentiator for VoIP is its open character. It is a set of open protocols, algorithms and technologies that allow for greater freedom in choosing solutions, both when building systems, integrating them or when choosing providers and using the technology.

What more could we want?

NOTEWORTHY: There are many differences between VoIP and old-style telephony with one of the main advantages being virtually unlimited “lines” capacity available.