Only Using VoIP for Calls? Here’s What You’re Missing


COduYS-WwAAaglIYears before SIP trunks, when kids were still allowed to play outside “until the street lamps came on,” there was VoIP. Intended originally to simply carry the sound of a person’s voice over the internet, it has since grown to do a whole lot more. Those with a passing familiarity with VoIP will be forgiven for not knowing all that it’s developed into; but at, we must adhere to a higher standard.

And so, here’s a Cliff’s Notes on some of the more prominent non-voice applications of the protocol we all know and love:

Video conferencing

Yealink Videconferencing

Video conferencing is being adopted by more and more businesses, especially in the US. Many factors drive the transition to video over face-to-face meetings, including travel expenses, time, and ubiquity of cell phones capable of reliably connecting a user. The bandwidth efficiency of VoIP makes it particularly well-suited to handling video conferencing services for enterprise.

Streaming multimedia/ Online gaming

The same pipe that is most often associated with carrying voice is also up to the task of quickly and efficiently streaming all sorts of media, be it video, music, files, or anything digital. Gamers find that VoIP is great for connecting with friends around the world to collaborate in real-time about games they are playing. Curse’s product, “Curse Voice” for instance, serves as a better way for gamers to communicate online than other, bigger services like Skype or Google Hangouts, because they minimize their users’ vulnerabilities by being cloud-based vs. peer-to-peer.

Instant messaging

AOL chatrooms may be but a distant memory, but IM is still alive and well. No dream of Unified Communications is complete without this functionality built-in, so it makes sense that VoIP would be able to add this one as a notch in its belt.

File transfer

Huge file transfers can (technically) be done using homing pigeons, but training them takes sterner stuff than the likes from which I am made. Enter VoIP. Now we can safely transfer files without the risk of bird flu.


Back in the day, fax machines were used for many reasons, not the least of which were to share wonderfully colorless (ha!) jokes like the following:


Thanks (in part) to VoIP, this classic humor will live on well into the future.

So there you have it, a slew of functions other than voice that a VoIP line can facilitate. Do you use VoIP for these, or other applications? Feel free to drop a line on Twitter @siptrunkcom and let us know!