Voice over IP security risk and advantages of VoIP

VoIP Pro-Con and Voice Over IP Security Risk

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VoIP Advantages

VoIP has many advantages over circuit switching. Packet switching permits several telephone calls to take the amount of space occupied by only one in a circuit-switched network. If you use a PSTN, a 10-minute phone call will consume 10 full minutes of transmission time at a cost of 128 Kbps but if you are using VoIP, that same call may occupy only 3.5 minutes of transmission time at a cost of 64 Kbps so you have spare 64 Kbps free for that 3.5 minutes, and an additional 128 Kbps for the remaining 6.5 minutes. On the basis of this, you can see that three or four calls could be administered easily by a single call under the conventional system.

Again, VoIP is cheaper than traditional telephony services. With rates going at $0.05 per minute, it is far cheaper than AT&T's best residential plan would cost up to $0.15 per minute. So VoIP can cut phone cost by some 50%, if not more. The economy of VoIP is more amplified in international calls. With a traditional phone, the longer the distance the more expensive it is to place a call. With the internet, there is no distance so no matter where you are calling to, the rate is the same as charged by your provider a the end of the month. Again there are no busy period charges. Letís take this example: AT&T will charge $2.50 for a US to India call but see how much savings you can make with a PC to PC VoIP call charges of $0.80 a minute.

Voice over IP has the benefit of providing telephone service to areas of low telephone coverage. What this means is that, once a system of internet connection can be set up, then VoIP telephone calls can be placed. It may be realised that there are several areas with internet access by wireless or some other means but no phone facilities. Once the internet infrastructure exists, then VoIP can be set up to place calls.

VOIP equipment is simple to set up than normal telephone systems. When setting up a VoIP system, the only thing you may need are simple cables, a headset, a PC with network interface card. So VoIP does away with excess cabling required for telephone connections. Also, VoIP applies the soft switching technology which removes the need for expensive and bulky PBX equipment. This cost reduction contributed to the cheapness of VoIP as well.

Voice over IP is easy to upgrade. It sometimes takes minutes of software installation to get a complete a system. A normal telephone system is not that easy, not to mention the dismantling and reassembling of huge machines.

VoIP is bandwidth efficient. VoIP can compress more voice calls into available bandwidth than normal telephony. VoIP efficiency can offer substantial cost savings for a company with multiple locations being charged distance times bandwidth for communication links.

VoIP Disadvantage

One severe limitation of VoIP is that it will only work if the PC is switched on and the VOIP software is running. Again, the other party with whom you are talking must have the same infrastructure and software installed on his machine.

Another disadvantage of VOIP is the poor quality of sound generated by VoIP. The sound produced is uneven, has a lot of delays and echoes. To obtain lower bandwidth, the voice compression algorithms and echo cancellation requires extra processing which eventually makes the digital phones more expensive.

If your internet connection goes off, you canít have you VOIP working.

It is difficult to manage emergency calls. For example if you use 911 service, the agencies will find it difficult to trace you location which may make it difficult for you to get help in times of need.

You are required to get a DSL router or a second computer set up to run a second phone line. A telephone service will not require these items as there are phone jacks everywhere in a building.

Voice Over IP Security Risk

VoIP has some security lapses. We may have to take note that since you are using the internet connection; you are susceptible to the same vulnerabilities that the internet suffers. VoIP is not free from worms, viruses, and DoS attacks can affect the usability of VoIP services, and the many of these attacks will be outside the control of the VoIP provider.

Voice over IP software may fail, crash or have bugs in which case the service may be rendered dysfunctional.
As voice becomes converged with data as it happens in VoIP, companies and businesses open up their networks to a whole lot of dangers, including attacks.

The VoIP phone system can become a target for spammers and hackers. Hackers can hack phone systems with DOS attacks, or program a company's phones to place damaging calls to other businesses or bring the entire system to a halt by using sophiscated remote programs. Again, somebody can spoof a phone's IP address and cause his own calls to be debited to the company. Also, the phones can be tapped into and then conversations recorded and played back.

Additionally, open source IP private branch exchange (IP PBX) software can now be obtained easily from the internet, studied carefully and then used to launch attacks on existing VoIP services.



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