Internet Phone

What Does Internet Phone Mean?

The Internet phone, also known as a broadband phone, is a digital communications device used for making phone calls via the Internet. It is also a commonly used Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) application device. When a call is made, the phone using VoIP converts the user’s voice into several digital packets after an analog-to-digital conversion circuit processes it, and then sends the data over the Internet to be received by the other user.


And Internet phone is also known as a broadband phone or IP phone.

Techopedia Explains Internet Phone

VoIP phones use many protocols like Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP) and various other protocols. There are even proprietary protocols such as the one used by Skype.

Other VoIP providers may use one or more protocols, plus some that they have developed on their own. The first Internet phone was developed by Vocal Tech Communications Ltd. in 1995 using a Windows softphone to communicate with a common phone. Once communication through the Internet was developed, it allowed the VoIP phone to be used for international long distance calls with little to no additional charge. One of the most significant advantages of using Internet phone technology is its cost-effectiveness; it is cheaper than making regular calls. On the other hand, it is Internet- and power-dependent, meaning that during a power outage or a connection outage the entire system becomes non-functional.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.