What Is VoIP Video Conferencing?

G. Wiesen

VoIP video conferencing typically refers to the use of various pieces of technology to allow two or more people to communicate over long distances with both audio and video. This is typically done through the use of computers, often with microphones and cameras or webcams connected to them, utilizing a wide area network such as the Internet. A number of different software programs can be utilized to engage in this type of conferencing, often through a secure network connection. VoIP video conferencing can be used for a wide range of purposes, including recreational chatting between friends and business presentations and meetings.

Programs like Skype allow families to video chat with one another via mobile devices.
Programs like Skype allow families to video chat with one another via mobile devices.

The term “VoIP video conferencing” refers to the use of a “Voice over Internet Protocol” software program to enable video conferencing between multiple users. This type of software is designed primarily for the use of voice chat and conferencing, allowing multiple users to connect to each other and talk through microphones and speakers. These programs allow people to use a computer to establish voice connections much like talking over a telephone, but without the additional charges of phone service over long distances. Some of these programs can also be used for VoIP video conferencing, by providing tools for connecting and broadcasting images from a webcam.

Video conferencing may help reduce a business's travel expenses.
Video conferencing may help reduce a business's travel expenses.

A VoIP video conferencing program is typically used over a network of some kind, and both local and wide networks can be used for these purposes. Private networks can be utilized by some software, while other programs provide utilities that allow users to secure conferences on otherwise public networks. Two users might connect through a VoIP video conferencing program through the Internet, for example, and use a password to keep their conference private and secure. There is the potential for such security protocols to be undermined through malicious software and direct attacks by hackers, however, so caution should still be used by anyone utilizing such a program.

People can use VoIP video conferencing for a number of different purposes. Personal conferencing can allow friends and family to talk and see each other over long distances, without the extra fees often charged by phone companies for long-distance calls. Grandparents living in Europe could use video conferencing software to talk to and actually see their children and grandchildren in the US or Australia. VoIP video conferencing can also be used in professional settings, allowing a corporate officer to directly interface with numerous, distant employees simultaneously, and enabling a group of managers in different regions to virtually meet and discuss ideas more easily through a network.

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