What's the difference between IP and VoIP telephony?

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VoIP provides IP telephony with its core functionality

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IP telephony are often confused as two separate means of communication. While there are some subtle distinctions between the two, they essentially belong to the same telephony family.

Think of IP telephony as the overall concept or experience of communication via the Internet. VoIP is basically a subset of that concept, which acts as a "digital transport vehicle" for phone calls. It is the way of transmitting someone's voice through a data network, typically with associated hardware and applications that make VoIP phone systems user-friendly and a productive business tool.

IP telephony - a solely computer-based system - largely depends on VoIP for its functionality, which led it to become a replacement for the Public Switched Telephone Network.

As TechTarget explains, the difference between the two really boils down to technical business terms. IP telephony is the business term for VoIP and refers to the device used to make VoIP calls.

"When vendors talk about IP telephony, they are usually referring to the IP phones themselves, which businesses need to buy or lease when deploying VoIP," the news source stated. "Implicit in this is the fact that the business is using them for VoIP."

Throwing technical terms aside, IP and VoIP telephony go hand-in-hand when it comes to business phone solutions. 

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