How VoIP and VPN services work together
By Eddie Nudel
VoIP services are making a splash on the business scene thanks to their advanced features. Making long distance calls for a fraction of the price, holding conference calls with staff members or clients across the world and checking your voicemail straight from your email on your phone are integral pieces to the present business model. What people might not realize is, as with all technology, the possibility of hacking is ever-present on VoIP lines as well. Fortunately, there are methods and means of overcoming and blocking these nefarious infiltrators, and the VPN is the most effective way of all.
How Does a VPN Work?
VPN (virtual private network) tunneling is a new feature of the VoIP tidal wave, and it might be the best thing you have done for your business lately. What a virtual private network offers you in general terms is better security, and that is always essential for your business. It is a good idea for business owners to understand on a basic level how the VPN system works in general and how it integrates with your VoIP.
Whether you are sending information such as an email or image file, or you are conducting a conference call, security is an important aspect to any business or personal transaction. For this reason a virtual private network is one of the fundamental keys to a successful VoIP session. On a simplistic level, the VPN creates a safe channel through which you can transfer any type of data securely. In essence, what it is really doing is virtually connecting the receiving end to a secured network. A bridge is used to connect the public network to the safe channel of your own private network. The technology is complex, but the general idea can be explained like this:
1. First, your VoIP provider will convert your words (sound waves or analog) into digital signals.
2. It will then be encapsulated in IP packets.
3. Next the encryption will take place. This is the first step in securing your information.
4. Finally, the encrypted packets will be sent through secure channels (VPN) to maintain privacy.
Once the data arrives at the receiving end, the information is decrypted and converted back into an analog signal so the phone can receive it.
Advantages of Using a VPN
The VPN is the safety net that you can utilize while taking advantage of the VoIP services available. Aside from the inherent security benefits of using a virtual private network, you can glean a few gems on the side as well. Because ISP (Internet Service Providers) do not readily recognize the information packets as originating from a VoIP, they are not going to throttle the bandwidth, allowing the messages to flow faster. (Unfortunately, this is a trick that many ISP’s use as a consequence of VoIP’s popularity). In addition, the more secure VPN channels will usually be given a first class ticket through the routers. So your calls and information are being processed faster, clearer and more securely. It’s no wonder that many businesses decide that a VPN is well worth the investment.
To learn more about VPN, SIP Trunking and other VoIP-related services, check out what some of the top VoIP providers have to say.