VoIP Jargon Explained

In our ever-connected world, the way we communicate has gone through a remarkable makeover. Say hello to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a technology that’s redefining how we connect through real-time voice calls and multimedia exchanges over the Internet. But here’s the thing – along with this groundbreaking tech, a bunch of technical jargon comes along for the ride. Don’t worry, though – consider this handy TechRound article your VoIP lingo decoder, designed to make both beginners and tech enthusiasts feel at ease while venturing into the realm of digital communication.


What Is the Most Common VoIP Jargon?


When you start using VoIP, there may be a whole lot of new words and phrases thrown at you that you’ve never heard before. Lauren Davies of bOnline comments: “VoIP is fast becoming a very important part of all of our lives. What’s more is that as technology influences more and more of our lives, we are probably going to have to become accustomed to many more acronyms and much more jargon, which is just the reality of our new world.” 

To get you clued up, we’ve created a list of some of the most common VoIP lingo below.


IP Address


Think of an Internet Protocol (IP) address as a digital home address for your devices. Each gadget connected to a network gets one, helping them find their way around the vast world of the Internet. In VoIP, these addresses are like the GPS coordinates that guide voice packets from one device to another, making sure your chats reach the right destination.




Meet the unsung hero behind the scenes – the codec! This clever software or hardware friend takes care of translating audio and video signals into a digital language that can be sent over the Internet. It’s like the translator making sure your voice sounds just as good on the other side as it does when you speak.




Imagine bandwidth as the motorway for your data. It’s the maximum amount of stuff you can send and receive over your network connection. In VoIP, having enough bandwidth is like having a wide, open road – it helps keep your calls smooth and prevents any annoying traffic jams in your conversations.




Ever noticed that slight delay when you’re chatting with someone online? That’s latency – the time it takes for your words to travel to the other person’s device. In VoIP, too much latency can feel like a conversation with awkward pauses, so it’s best to keep this delay in check.




Jitter is like the rollercoaster of VoIP – it’s the ups and downs in the timing of your data packets. Some variation is normal, but too much jitter can make your voice sound like a broken record. To fix this, VoIP systems have these cool buffers that smooth things out, so your words flow naturally.


Quality of Service (QoS)


Just like getting VIP treatment at an event, your VoIP calls can also get special treatment over the network. Quality of Service (QoS) is like the bouncer making sure your calls get the red carpet treatment, even when the network gets crowded with other data traffic.




Think of a router as a digital traffic director. It figures out the best routes for your data packets to travel from your device to the other person’s device. In VoIP, a router helps your voice find its way through the Internet maze to reach your friend’s ears.




Firewalls are like the guardians of your network, keeping the bad stuff out. But sometimes, they can be a little too protective and block your VoIP calls. It’s like the firewall saying, “Whoa, hold up!” So, it’s important to make sure it’s playing nice with your VoIP conversations.


Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)


Meet SIP – the smooth operator responsible for setting up, managing, and ending your VoIP chats. It’s like the friendly host who makes sure everything is set for a great conversation. SIP handles the nitty-gritty of call setup and other important stuff so you can focus on your chat.


Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)


Imagine PSTN as the older sibling of VoIP – it’s the traditional telephone network that’s been around for a while. VoIP gives PSTN a modern twist, allowing calls to happen between old-school landline phones and new-age VoIP systems.




If your computer could talk, it’d sound like a softphone! It’s a software buddy that turns your device into a phone, letting you make calls over the Internet. With a softphone, your computer gains a new skill – making calls just like a regular phone.


Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA)


Have an old-school analog phone lying around? No worries! An Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) is like a tech translator. It helps your analog phone understand the digital language of VoIP, so it can join the digital party and make calls over the Internet.


E999 (Enhanced 999)


Safety first! E999 is like the superhero of VoIP. When you dial 999 in an emergency, E99 automatically sends your location to the rescue team. It’s like giving them a map to find you, which can be a lifesaver when seconds count.


Echo Cancellation


Ever heard your own voice echo during a call? That’s where echo cancellation steps in. It’s like a magical spell that silences those annoying echoes, making your calls crystal clear and echo-free.


DSCP (Differentiated Services Code Point)


VoIP traffic deserves a little extra attention on the network. DSCP is like a VIP badge for your data packets. It tells the network to treat your VoIP calls with care, so they get to their destination without any detours or delays.


How To Navigate VoIP With Confidence


As VoIP continues to transform the way we communicate, wrapping your head around its jargon becomes a superpower. The world of VoIP is exciting, and the terms in this article are your trusty sidekicks to help you navigate it like a pro. Whether you’re a business honcho upgrading your communication game or just someone who wants seamless Internet-based chats, knowing these terms gives you the confidence to dive into the world of VoIP with a smile. As technology keeps evolving, remember – armed with these basics, you’re ready to chat up a storm, no matter where the digital winds take you.