VoIP, pronounced “voype,” stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. At its most basic, VoIP is simply a method for transmitting voice calls over a packet-based data network like the Internet. Imagine yourself talking on a phone with a friend. As you’re talking, your voice gets sampled 8,000 times per second, with each analog sample being converted to a number. The numeric samples are grouped into data packets, and these packets are then sent over an Internet network. Each data packet contains 20 milliseconds of voice data. When these packets arrive at their ultimate destination—in this case, your friend’s phone device—they are converted back to an analog signal and played out. Because all this happens before you can blink your eye, all you hear is a smooth continuous voice call.