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Learning Guide: Voice over IP

Here's your one-stop guide for information on voice over IP.

Get your Voice over IP (VoIP) questions answered in this learning guide, which includes VoIP tips, articles, quizzes, book chapter excerpts and more.  Learn about the basics of the technology, find out about VoIP advantages and disadvantages and see how VoIP can be used in your network now and in the future.

What is VoIP?

sue fogarty by Susan Fogarty

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a term used in IP telephony for the delivery of voice information using the Internet Protocol (IP). A major advantage of VoIP is that it avoids the tolls charged by ordinary telephone service. It also promises to enable a world of integrated communications tools that will make communications more streamlined and effective. The realities of VoIP, however, are more complex than plugging in some high-tech phones. Find out more about this burgeoning technology.

How to define VoIP: VoIP (voice over IP) is an IP telephony term for a set of facilities used to manage the delivery of voice information over the Internet. Learn more about the uses for VoIP and how enterprises use the technology.

Words-to-Go: VoIP mini-glossary: Learn how VoIP is defined and see the definitions of related terms like latency and IP telephony. 

VoIP overview: Get an overview of VoIP and learn how the technology has evolved from the early days to today

Understanding the basics of VoIP: Learn about VoIP in ten easy steps, including VoIP regulations, how to define VoIP, VoIP training and how to choose a VoIP vendor. Then take our quiz to see what you learned. 

The essential VoIP bookshelf II: Read this comprehensive list of VoIP books to see what you should be reading before deploying and using VoIP in your network.

Chapter excerpt: Voice over Internet Protocol overview: Read this free chapter excerpt to learn about the history of VoIP, VoIP requirements, and the goals and benefits of using the technology in the enterprise.

Getting ready for VoIP

kara gattine by Kara Gattine

This year, voice over IP (VoIP)promises to be one of the major forces driving a recovery in the networking industry. Vendors declare that it delivers voice and data over one simplified network while decreasing maintenance and increasing productivity.

If you've been sitting back, waiting to see where VoIP is heading and what exactly you'll need todo before making a commitment to converge your voice and data networks, this information can help you get moving.

Learn how to prepare for VoIP: Even if you don’t have enough room in your budget for VoIP yet, there’s still ways you can prepare, such as researching vendors and improving the efficiency of your Local Area Network.

What is the ROI of VoIP? Learn why one editor thinks it's an oxymoron.

Tuning your network for VoIP: Want to prepare your network for VoIP? Learn how to assess your network architecture and design, develop a Quality of Service scheme, consider the hardware you’re using and more

First steps to implementing VoIP: In this tip, learn about the two types of VoIP and what you can do to prepare for each.

Learn about VoIP security strategies: Learn how to use a VPN with VoIP for increased security. 

Ensuring VoIP Quality of Service:
Having an effective Quality of Service model is important when deploying a successful VoIP infrastructure. Get a closer look at QoS components in this tip.

Understanding the security risks of VoIP: Before you set up VoIP in your network, it’s important to know the security risks involved in doing so, including being vulnerable to new attacks as your voice and data networks converge.

Tools for VoIP planning, monitoring and management: Before you begin a VoIP deployment, see which vendors offer VoIP management and monitoring tools. Learn about vendors such as NetIQ, Netscout and Sentito and the VoIP tools and bundles that they offer.

Expert advice: VoIP now and in the future

Check out these answers to VoIP reader questions from Carrie Higbie and Patrick Ferriter, two experts on the Ask the Expert panel. See what they have to say on learning the basics of VoIP, the future of VoIP and VoIP trends, and how to improve the latency and reliability concerns that come with the technology.

voip expert

Carrie Higbie
Global Network Applications Market Manager, The Siemon Company

Dear Carrie,
I'm interested in learning about VoIP. Where should I start?
Read Carrie’s answer and see where to begin in
learning about VoIP.

Dear Carrie,
As VoIP takes off, how are vendors working to improve latency and reliability concerns? 
Read Carrie’s answer to learn more about latency and reliability in VoIP.

Patrick ferriter Patrick Ferriter
Vice President of Product Marketing, Zultys Technologies

Dear Patrick,
What do you see as the future trends of VoIP?
Read Patrick’s answer on VoIP trends.

VoIP learning resources

Check out more of our VoIP learning resources, whether you’re looking for VoIP training options, career advice or a better understanding of different VoIP protocols.  These articles, guides and tips will help you with a variety of VoIP questions.

VoIP protocols:

H.323: Learn about H.323, the standard for interoperability in audio, VoIP, and video and data transmissions.

Session Initiation Protocol: Read a detailed definition of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), a standard protocol from the Internet Engineering Task Force for initiating a user session that involves multimedia like voice and video.

VoIP troubleshooting:

Troubleshooting VoIP echo problems: Read through these steps to learn how to deal with echo, a common problem in VoIP that can quickly become unbearable.  the H.323 protocol and learn why network managers should deploy vulnerability assessment products. 

Career advice: 

Learn about IP telephony and
VoIP certifications: Learn about what certifications are available for VoIP and IP telephony in this comprehensive list from expert Ed Tittel. 

Find out about VoIP training: Get an expert’s take on the best way to become proficient in VoIP, including both using a certification program and getting hands-on experience.

This was last published in May 2004

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