Alternatively referred to as IP telephone or Internet phone, VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it enables users to make calls over the Internet. To make a call, a telephone is connected to a network cable, rather than a phone line, or a call is made over a computer. VoIP allows long distance phone calls to be cheaper, although sometimes with lower audio quality. The first experiment VoIP call was made in 1973, but the first software (known as Vocaltec) enabling end users to make calls, did not appear until 1995.
Today, VoIP and Internet phones are becoming commonplace, as many cable TV providers offer bundles that include VoIP. Businesses have begun to embracing the change and utilize VoIP as well, nearly eliminating the need for telephone lines in the workplace. While telephone lines are not completely gone, technology is moving things in that direction.
Examples of VoIP include the following.