What Is An Internet Phone, What is VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), And Are They The Same Thing?

If you’re over the age of 30, all these new high-tech gizmos can be a little confusing sometimes. That’s why people often write in and ask me, “What is an Internet phone, what is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) , and are they the same thing?”. To answer that question, let’s take a closer look at both the Internet phone and VoIP.

What Is VOIP?

VoIP, also known as Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a type of technology which allows you to use a broadband connection to place telephone calls in place of a standard phone line. Many VoIP services utilize your computer to make the calls, while some use a normal phone hooked to a VoIP adapter or a special VoIP phone.

In many cases, you’ll be able to call international numbers, cell phone numbers, local numbers and long distance numbers. Other VoIP services, however, will limit the caller only to communicating with people using the same service.

VoIP works by converting your voice into a digital signal and sending it over the Internet. If you’re calling another computer, it will stay a digital signal. If you’re calling someone on their regular telephone, the digital signal will eventually be converted into an analog signal.

There are a few disadvantages to VoIP service, though. For example, you may not be able to get white page listings with all VoIP services, some VoIP services don’t connect you directly to 9-1-1, and many VoIP services will not function during power outages.

What Is An Internet Phone?

If you’re still asking, “What is an Internet phone, what is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) , and are they the same thing?”, then this next section may shed some additional light on your question. In it, we’ll be talking about Internet phones.


Many Internet phones look and perform just like a traditional telephone. The difference is that they allow your voice signal to be sent across a broadband connection and received by someone else using a VoIP service.

While the network for an Internet phone may be different, the device functions in the same way. Just pick up the receiver and dial the desired number. Within seconds, you’ll either hear ringing or a busy signal.

The clarity of calls is usually pretty reliable on an Internet phone. During periods of heavy Internet traffic, signals can be a bit choppy, but this only lasts for a short time. Since the service does rely on electricity, your Internet phone will be unusable during power outages (although this can be countered by using a universal power supply).

Are VoIP And Internet Phones The Same?

Finally, we have our last answer to, “What is an Internet phone, what is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) , and are they the same thing?”. VoIP and Internet phones are NOT the same thing.

The VoIP is the service which allows you to place online calls, and an Internet phone is the actual device which you use to do so. While they are both crucial to placing online calls, they are NOT the same thing.