Most heavy internet users will have heard of VoIP, it is the technology that allows you to make calls over an internet connection, and notable companies offering this service are Skype, Facebook (with their Messenger service), and the chat function of Google Hangouts.
VoIP sends compressed voice files through the internet connection in high speed, basically providing a live voice connection through the internet. Since data transfer via broadband internet is substantially faster than conventional phone connections, the service can be provided for a much lower cost than a phone connection. Calls with VoIP apps like Skype are free to other users, and because of the capabilities of broadband, more than one call can take place at a time.
You can pay to call landlines and mobiles from your VoIP service, and generally the price will be much lower than with conventional phone connections (especially if you are calling long-distance where the savings are even greater).
Another benefit of VoIP is that the service is not tied to a specific address in the case of most services like Skype. You can use it from any computer that has the provider’s app installed, or smartphones as well.
It is worth mentioning here the difference between VoIP services and VoIP apps: the former is the actual service provided of the transmission of the call, the latter is the actual software on your device that allows you to access the service. In most cases, they are provided as the same offering from the same company, but many offerings include just one or the other, so you can choose a different VoIP app with a VoIP service provider and vice versa. In fact, some VoIP services are offered for conventional phones (especially for business customers), so you wouldn’t really notice that you are not using a standard phone line.
And an obvious advantage of VoIP is that it allows video calls which is unusual for conventional phone lines. It is also beneficial for businesses that require a lot of phone capacity since the setup times and costs are lower than with conventional phone lines.