Telecommunications is an important element in any business in the 21st century. Businesses need to communicate internally, with other businesses, as well as with their clients in a secure and cost-effective way.
VoIP is a business solution that allows businesses to communicate over the phone with others through the Internet. It is a great option for businesses. If you’re considering getting VoIP, here’s everything you need to know about the technology, how it works, its benefits, and how secure is VoIP.
A Background on VoIP
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.
VoIP is a phone service that uses the Internet instead of traditional telephone lines to make calls. It functions like a landline; however, it connects calls via the Internet instead of phone lines.
VoIP enables businesses to make clear local and international calls and use advanced features to help streamline communications. While the main function of VoIP is connecting calls, its services also allow companies to use Instant Messenger (IM) services and video conferencing.
The features of VoIP include:
- Portable landline numbers
- Call waiting and forwarding
- Conference calling
- Call blocking
- Call recording
- Call routing
- Automatic call distribution
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Fax over IP
How does VoIP Work?
A VoIP system converts voice into digital data packets and sends it over the internet in a split second. In this case, the recipient of the call also needs to have an internet connection to receive and transmit data.
Some VoIP systems can also make calls to a traditional phone. If this case, the VoIP system converts your voice into digital data packets, sends it over the Internet, and then converts it back into voice so the other person hears it through their regular phone line.
What are the Different Types of VoIP?
There are three main types of VoIP technology. Each system offers different features and requires specific equipment. So, it’s important for businesses to choose the type of VoIP service that meets their needs.
Hosted VoIP Systems
A hosted VoIP system is a cloud-based telephony system that is provided by a third-party provider. The provider hosts the system offsite, so the company doesn’t need to purchase or install equipment in their premises. The provider also handles all the maintenance and updates the VoIP system needs.
A hosted VoIP system doesn’t require a traditional phone setup. It only requires an IP phone or a softphone application and a strong Internet connection.
On-Premises VoIP systems
This type of VoIP system uses infrastructure installed on your own premises. On-premises VoIP systems offers better flexibility and control than hosted systems. However, this type of system can be costly since it requires some maintenance and management from your end. You’ll also be responsible for ensuring that your VoIP is secure.
Hybrid VoIP systems
These are a combination of hosted and on-premises systems, offering the best of both worlds. You can have some features and equipment hosted offsite, while others are installed on your premises.
A good example of a popular VOIP phone system is the Xorcom IP phone.
What is the Difference Between VoIP and SIP?
A similar service is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
Both VoIP and SIP enable the speedy transfer of data over the Internet. However, these two are not the same. It is possible for a business to use only VoIP or use it in tandem with SIP. Let us compare SIP vs. VoIP to help you understand their roles in communications.
Voice over Internet Protocol focuses on connecting calls over the Internet. In contrast, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) enables multimedia communication over the internet. Multimedia sessions integrate voice, video, and messaging into a call.
SIP facilitates communication between different devices, regardless of their location and operating systems. SIP is a signaling protocol that manages call establishment, maintenance, and termination. It uses Internet Engineering Task Force’s protocol (IETF) for Internet applications to establish connections between two or more endpoints using SIP.
What are the Benefits of VoIP?
VoIP is a powerful technology that lets businesses make calls anywhere, including numerous other benefits:
One of the most significant advantages of VoIP is that it’s typically less expensive than traditional landline or cell phone services. Since it uses the internet, there are fewer overhead costs compared to traditional phone lines. You can save a lot of money, especially if you make international calls regularly.
Better Call Quality
VoIP is what empowers businesses with improved call quality thanks to the use of high-quality internet connections. This is in contrast to traditional phone lines, which can often be plagued by static and other issues. You can easily make calls from the Philippines to anywhere in the globe without having to worry about delays or connection issues. It’s as if you’re speaking with the person right in front of you!
VoIP is incredibly flexible and accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection. It’s easy to switch between devices, and all you need is a headset and microphone to make calls from your computer.
VOIP phone systems are also very scalable, which means it can grow with your business. If you need to add more phone lines, you can do so without any problems. This is in contrast to traditional phone systems, which can be very difficult and expensive to upgrade.
With VoIP, you get access to several features that traditional landlines don’t offer, such as video calling, call recording, voicemail to email forwarding, and call forwarding. These features can allow your teams to streamline all communication. You can also customize your VoIP plan to suit your business or personal needs.
VoIP and Security
Businesses rely on VoIP to allow them to connect and hold conversations with anyone in the world. It’s important to ensure that all confidential conversations are secured from malicious parties, so security is a vital element in VoIP.
How Secure is VoIP?
While VoIP phone systems offer many benefits, it is important to keep your VoIP system secure in order to protect yourself from the various risks that it poses. By taking steps to encrypt your calls and to block unwanted traffic, you can help to ensure that your conversations are private and that your system is protected from attacks.
Generally speaking, VoIP such as multi-tenant IP PBX systems are a secure way to communicate, but the security of your VoIP system will depend on the type of encryption you use. You should choose an encryption method that is appropriate for the level of security you need.
What are the risks to VoIP?
There are several different types of risks that can impact VoIP cybersecurity. These include:
Because VoIP transmissions are made over the public Internet, they can be intercepted by anyone who has access to the network. This includes hackers, criminals, and even government agencies.
Denial of service (DoS) attacks
A DoS attack is a type of attack that attempts to disable a system by flooding it with traffic. This can be done by overwhelming the system with calls, or by damaging the hardware or software.
VoIP systems are vulnerable to the same types of hacking attacks that other IP-based systems are. This includes attacks that aim to steal information, eavesdrop on conversations, or disable the system.
How to check if VoIP is secure?
Here are a few things you can do to test if your VoIP is secure:
- Use a vulnerability scanner – Vulnerability scanners can help to identify any potential weaknesses in your system.
- Conduct penetration testing – Penetration testing is a type of security test that simulates an attack on your system. This can help you to identify any gaps in your security that could be exploited by a real attacker.
- Use a security assessment tool – Security assessment tools can help you to identify and fix any security issues on your system.
Best Practices in Securing VoIP
There is no one “best” way to encrypt VoIP calls. The best encryption method for you will depend on your needs and the level of security you require. Some of the most popular methods of VoIP encryption are:
Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a type of encryption that is often used to protect web traffic. TLS uses public-key cryptography to encrypt the data that is sent over the network.
Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP)
Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP) is a type of encryption that is designed specifically for VoIP traffic. SRTP uses public-key cryptography to encrypt the data that is sent over the network.
ZRTP is a type of encryption that is designed specifically for VoIP traffic. ZRTP uses a combination of public-key and symmetric-key cryptography to encrypt the data that is sent over the network.
Choosing the Right VoIP for Your Business
Knowing how secure VoIP is, you can make clearer calls anywhere. VoIP is a powerful technology that can empower businesses to connect with partners and clients securely.
Kital is one of the leading telecom providers of cutting-edge solutions for businesses and government agencies. We make sure that you receive solutions that are beneficial to your organization’s long-term growth and development.
If you’re ready to invest in a cutting-edge VoIP system for your business, send us a message today.