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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a method for making phone calls over the Internet or using private networks. Traditional phone calls must travel over a series of switches and circuits owned by the telephone companies, which control the process and the charges. By using VoIP, both businesses and individuals can enjoy a substantial cost savings, especially while making long-distance calls. VoIP at a technical level is a communications method that uses the competing standards Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and H.323,2 both of which are widely deployed. The two standards deal with the routing of voice conversations over the Internet, or IP-based networks. The standards define protocols that are derived from traditional phone systems.
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