How does VOIP work?
Understand how does VOIP work:
VOIP is basically called as Voice over internet protocol. That is true that it is associated with computers and voice transmission, which lays the foundation of the process. The VOIP came into existence, in order to make communication an easy and cheaper process. Today this is one of the most effective modes of communication among people based at different parts of the world.
Earlier a microphone with computer was attached to record a voice. These voices where converted into small bits and stored at a certain location within the computer’s memory in a form of a file. These small bits of voices are called as samples. So when the recording was played back, the computer pulls out all the voice bits and plays them as once single file. Therefore the person gets to hear the voices in the same way that they have recorded.
The same technology works behind the VOIP system as well. However, the voice samples in this system are not stored at the computer, rather they are sent over the internet network and transmitted to the other computer and then the information is heard by the user of that computer.
This is surely the simple way of explaining the VOIP process, but there is much more involved in this system. Generally the voices that are sent over the IP network are compressed in order to reduce the amount of space required for transmission. There are many technologies that help in reducing the compression process and CODEC is the most appreciated technology for doing so. It is also used for compressing the audio files for movies and songs as well. By reducing the size of the voice file the bandwidth, subsequently used is less as compared with uncompressed files. The speech codec that is used for compression of voice files generally improves the quality of the word spoken and enhances their clarity. However, it might not be able to work that efficiently for recorded voices.
To send data over the internet, the data or the information is generally broken down into small packets of information. This is done to facilitate the transmission process and the speed. These packets are not sent is series rather they are sent in different order and at the other end the packets are then streamed lined. Generally during transmission some packets are lost and to recover the loss of those packets a mechanism is used to fill those gaps. The same process is used while sending the voice packets over the internet. In case of data loss, the gaps are generally filled by two processes; one is PLC and the other is FEC.
PLC or packet loss concealment is a process, in which the packet of information is sent multiple times in order to cover up the loss and the gap created because of the packet lost. However, in FEC or Forward error correction process, the information from previous packet is added into the next packet so as to maintain the continuity and fill the gap. This helps in recovering of the lost data and building up the information by collecting the pieces of information. The PLC process also helps in smoothing the process, by eliminating the delays in packet receiving. So when a packet is received late there is a huge gap, then the PLC algorithm removes those delayed packets and keeps the process smooth and clear, thus maintaining the quality and clarity.
Though the VOIP is most appreciated process today, but it seriously suffers from jitter problems. Jitter problems are nothing but a constant delay in packet transmission process. It is observed that once the packet gets delay then the remaining process gets delayed all together, thus distorting the quality and effectiveness of the entire VOIP process. To break through the jitter problem there is another algorithm, which basically works on queue system. This means that certain numbers of voice packets are already lined up in order to give the listener complete, distortion free information, while they buy some time for the other packets to line up. This gives times to receive other packets and helps in maintaining the quality and continuity. This mechanism acts as jitter buffer and reduces the delay in packets receiving process.
VOIP today is highly used as it allows other type of information to club with it easily and then pass over smoothly the IP protocol, with the help of CODEC compression. The video today also follows the same pattern and together with VOIP they are easily gaining recognition through the world. In video, the information from the camera is broken in small packets and compressed with the help of CODEC and then transmitted over IP network, much in the same way like VOIP.
VOIP is today a vast field and people are working on its improvising. However, there is much more that one can do with VOIP process and there are many supporting technologies that help VOIP with its end to end process, but the basic process involves breaking of information into small packets and compressing it for quick and easy transmission.