One of the reasons VoIP is so successful and advantageous is it uses packet switching technology rather than circuit switching technology to provide phone services. Most phone companies use circuit switching technology. Packet switching technology is different in that it allows multiple phone calls to occur within the same space a single phone call would occupy using a circuit network.
This means less transmission time is used and less expense is incurred for the same phone call placed using packet switching versus circuit switching technology. How does packet switching work? Basically you pick up the receiver or initiate a phone call, which sends a signal. After dialing a phone number the tones are converted into digital data your computer can read and stored temporarily until the VoIP company sends the phone number you punch in to their call processor. The processor maps the phone number to an IP address. That is nothing more than someone’s computer address, then connects the two computers together using a soft switch device.
Your Computer and VoIP
Your computer is basically acting as an intermediary, passing voice messages much like it would an e-mail to another user. You can talk for any length of time necessary, and all the while your computer and VoIP software will be transmitting data packets of information from one computer to the other, translating analog information into digital virtually automatically. The entire process takes just seconds and allows a higher volume of calls than a traditional phone line would.