What is the Difference Between VoIP and Voice Chat?

August 22nd, 2018 by Bronson Tang

Woman on Phone

Effective communication is needed in all aspects of human relationships. All businesses and organizations require proper communication to get ahead. The art of communicating includes effectively passing information from the informant to the receiver.

Technology has aided communication in many different ways. Apart from making it easier and faster, it has also made it cheaper. Passing information over the internet has become increasingly frequent in recent times. There are different methods of communicating over the internet such as emails, chat sites, internet calls, video chats etc.

This new era of communicating over the internet has brought about VoIP.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over internet protocol. It is a means of making calls over the internet. It takes analog audio signals and transmits them over the internet after converting them to digital data. With VOIP, you can make free/ low-cost telephone calls to anyone anywhere in the world regardless of the network being used. The principles and procedures involved in VOIP calls are similar to those in regular/ common telephone calls. The principals involved are signaling, channel setup, encoding, digitization, and decoding.

VOIP employs the use of internet connection can be used to place free phone calls and therefore helps bypass the charges of phone companies and network organization. With VoIP, you have an unlimited number of phone lines and can make long distance calls to anyone at any time. There are three popular ways of engaging in VOIP calls.

ATA: The Analog Telephone Adaptor works by connecting a standard phone to a computer or internet for use with VOIP. The ATA works to convert digitalize the analog signals obtained from the standard phone and transmits the digital signal over the internet.

Another way of using VOIP is with IP phones; IP phones look just like regular phones, complete with a handset, cradle, and buttons. IP phones have an Ethernet connector, so they connect directly to your router and have the necessary hardware and software necessary for the call. Wi-Fi phones allow subscribing callers to make VoIP calls from any Wi-Fi hotspot.

Lastly, another way to use VoIP is through computers. There is several free software that can be used for this type of VOIP. The required items are a microphone, speakers, a sound card and a good internet connection. VOIP calls by computers are free except maybe for ISP fees,

Generally, most users see VOIP calls as free.

What are voice chats?

Voice chats are a means of sending recorded voice messages over the internet.

It requires a hardware device such as a phone to record the voice message, a software application that allows you send voice chats and internet connection to send the voice chats over.

The recipient also needs the same three things to receive and hear the voice chat that was sent. Using voice chats involves recording the voice message first, which is stored in the hardware. It can be played to hear the content of the voice message before sending. You also have the option of deleting the voice chat before it is sent if you are not content with the content of the voice chat. Voice chats take up space in the memory of the hardware being used. However, they can always be deleted after.

Voice chats do not have the luxury of immediate feedback and continued conversations between the communicators in one session. Voice chats sent over the internet, are first downloaded by the recipient on his hardware and played to hear the recorded message before the recipient can react to the initial voice chat by sending a new voice chat in reply.

The amazing thing about voice chat is that it can be sent to more than one person at a time or even at a later date.

Before choosing between choice chats and VoIP calls, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Feedback time: Depending on the speed at which feedback is required, you can choose between the two options. While VoIP calls give you immediate response and feedback communication system between communicators in one session, voice calls have a delayed feedback system due to the time taken in downloading and listening to the recorded voice message.
  2. Storage: With Voice chats, the recorded message is saved on the devices of the sender and receiver and can be referred to at a later period. VoIP calls, on the other hand, do not necessarily have to be saved on the hardware of the sender and receiver.
  3. Number of recipients: Voice chats are convenient for sending instructions on how to go about something to a large number of recipients. This way, they can replay, pause or stop the recording as is convenient. Some VoIP calls have the added feature of talking to more than one person at a time.

The choice of method of communication depends on the end goal that the communication is set to achieve, as both methods have their own unique features. Therefore, end users can always choose between the two depending on how fast they want the response, how many people they want to communicate with and if they want the message for future purposes.

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