VoIP, or Voice over IP, is a technology that allows telephone style voice communication over internet protocol. This allows users to make and receive voice calls via the internet, just as they would on a landline or cellular phone. VoIP service can be provided through software, hardware, or both, with the hardware options usually distributed by an internet or telephone company.
Software VoIP requires an existing internet connection and a compatible device, usually a personal computer. Users use the software to connect to other users, allowing them to live voice chat without a telephone. Internet and phone companies have started offering hardware VoIP services, which include a standalone telephone. They provide a VoIP telephone, a standard phone number, and monthly service. Software VoIP services may also offer premium services, such as a personal phone number or phone number dialing privileges, for a fee.