Voice Over Internet Protocol
What is VoIP?
True VoIP System vs. Hybrid VoIP System
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
Call Center Reporting
Additional functions are add-ons to a phone system, Voice-Mail, Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), Call Center Functionality. Each of these are available with a phone system however; additional equipment is needed, integration of this equipment can be an issue, integration of additional equipment and it’s software is dependant of your installer’s knowledge, and cost is invariability highly expensive.
The hybrid system is reliant upon periodic on-site maintenance, moves, adds and changes will require a technician on site, and of course additional cost.
A True VoIP system is a computer server built to operate like a phone system however; because it is a computer server, integration of additional function is normally completed and tested before it leaves the factory. Voicemail is always standard, ACD and Call Center reporting are additional applications however; additional equipment is not normally needed and the cost is reduced for these applications.
Once the system is installed, on-site maintenance is normally not required. Moves, adds and changes and periodic maintenance is done remotely, through a secure tunnel.
Another advantage is the ability to use one cable to supply a network connection to your keyset and your computer. Your PC plugs into the back of the keyset for it's’s LAN/Wan connectivity, instead of having two separate cables (One voice one data) again lowering the cost in cable installation and maintenance.
Is VoIP Secure?
If you’re planning to deploy VoIP, you’ll need to take some steps to make the data network more secure, especially if you haven’t performed an overall security audit recently.
You might be shortchanging yourself. When it comes to outside communications with VoIP, weigh the potential cost savings and efficiencies gained by converging technologies against the risk.
If you’re already transmitting and receiving sensitive data over the Internet, you’ve gone to considerable lengths to protect that data, which is almost surely more sensitive than your voice traffic and no less vulnerable to attack. These safeguards can be leveraged to help secure VoIP over the Internet.
But What About Packet Sniffing?
While it’s technically possible to sniff voice packets, it’s a lot more difficult than tapping into a traditional phone transmission. Let’s consider what it would take to tap into VoIP.
The first step in sniffing a conversation is to gain physical access to the packets.
But let’s say an intruder gains physical access, despite your best efforts. If it’s a traditional phone line, he’s practically listening already. But if you’re using VoIP, he really has his work cut out for him.
First, consider what it takes to tap a traditional phone line. If the conversation is still in analog format, the intruder simply taps onto the line using a “butt set”which was formerly reserved for telephone repairmen, but now available at hardware storesand starts listening.
Traditional telephony uses time-division multiplexing for trunk groupsas opposed to packet multiplexing so picking out a single conversation from a digitally multiplexed bundle of conversations and decoding the 64 Kbps pulse code modulation (PCM) is relatively easy.
Compare that with pulling a conversation out of an IP transmission. Voice packets are buried deep inside a sophisticated protocol stack.
The intruder has to know what the physical format of the information is; decode the Ethernet packets to find a single flow between two points; decode the IP layer; decode the transport-layer (layer 4) protocolprobably UDPand then, finally, decode the voice packets, which could be encoded in a wide range of formats. And he has to do it in real time.
So, Is VoIP Secure?
It’s a lot easier to listen to a conversation over a cubicle wall than it is to tap a VoIP call.
There’s even a question as to how secure VoIP should be.
VoIP is probably as secure as traditional telephony and a lot more secure in most cases than your cell phone.