Skip to main content

What is VoIP?

VoIP (pronounced “voyp”) stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a technology that allows voice data to be carried over a broadband connection instead of a standard phone line.

VoIP offers residential users the chance to make free (or heavily discounted) calls to other VoIP users, as well as landlines and mobile phones.

For business users, it also means that voice can be sent across the same network as their internet connection, without needing separate phone hardware installed on-site.

Compare VoIP packages at uSwitch now.

What do I need to start making VoIP calls?

  • Nearly all PCs, Macs and laptops have a headphone and microphone jack, so all you will need is a headset to plug in.
  • An adequate connection speed: VoIP only really works on broadband connections of over 1Mb - long delays and poor reception are common in slower connections.
  • Software that allows you to make calls through your computer, for example Skype.

How does it work?

In the same way that you can send text files via email with your broadband connection, VoIP sends voice files by compressing them in order to make them smaller and therefore quicker to upload and download.

what is voip

Pros & Cons of VoIP


  • More than one call can take place on the same line at the same time, as voice files are transported more efficiently by VoIP than traditional PSTN.
  • Cheap and free calls. Many VoIP providers offer free VoIP to VoIP calls and all offer discounted calls to national and international destinations.
  • Travel opportunities. With a VoIP account you can make VoIP calls from anywhere in the world without changing your number.


  • May not be suitable for those with a connection speed slower than 1Mb. These days, broadband users with speeds of <1Mbps represent such a tiny proportion of users that it's hard to find any cons at all. VoIP is here to stay!

Compare VoIP packages at uSwitch now.