What is a VoIP Phone, and How Does It Work?

Interested in getting a VoIP phone? Schedule a demo with our team, and discover features that can improve your business communications.

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The world is rapidly and steadily embracing new advancements in technology, and large and small businesses alike need to keep up with these changes to stay in the game. With RingCentral, you can do exactly that and more.
As a leader in cloud communications, RingCentral offers an all-in-one Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system that allows smooth phone calls over the internet and includes other essential enterprise-level functionality: business SMS, online meetings, app integrations, and more. Upgrade your current phone lines, implement a completely new IP telephony system, or scale your business—no matter your needs and goals, RingCentral has the perfect solution for you.
VoIP phone and technology

What is a VoIP phone?

A VoIP phone is a kind of telephone that uses IP technology to transmit calls. It can come either in the form of specialized digital hardware or a program (running on a computer or mobile device) that performs the same functions.

Fitted with a microphone and receiver, a VoIP telephone takes the sound you generate and converts it into packets of data. It then sends it over the network and out through the internet. The phone on the other end then decompresses the data and plays it back for the other person to hear.

Employees using RingCentral App for video conferencing

Benefits of RingCentral’s VoIP phone system

Lower costs

Unlike legacy PBX, VoIP phone systems only require a strong internet connection. This means significant savings on infrastructure and hardware. VoIP also allows long-distance and international calls via the internet at no added cost.

Easy and simple setup

There’s no need to wait for tedious installations. We understand the value of time in business here at RingCentral. You can count on us to have your virtual phone service up and running in no time.

Additional features

VoIP is not just about making calls; it also presents a chance to utilize a unified communications solution that includes an array of extra features, such as call forwarding, call routing, call recording, SMS messaging, voicemail, video chats, and more.

Mobility and flexibility

VoIP does not tie you to a physical workstation, giving your business the means to meet the rising demand for remote work. Employees can work from anywhere, anytime, and from any device.

Unparalleled security

RingCentral VoIP services are encrypted with secure voice between endpoints on the network. This translates to VoIP phone calls that are protected from interruption and threats like power outages, inclement weather, malicious attacks, etc.


Traditional business phones are static, but VoIP evolves with you. Whether you have plans to expand to multiple locations or add international people to your team, you can scale easily with a VoIP business phone system like RingCentral.

How do VoIP phones work?

Voice over IP technology involves a set of different protocols working together to replicate telephony functions. Each protocol has a different function, but all work simultaneously in real time.

Desk phone, computer, and cellphone connecting to network ports
Using desktop computer and mobile phone as VoIP phone

What are the different transport protocols for VoIP?

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) are the two primary types of transport protocols used for data transmission across the internet. 

Data travels over the internet in packets, which are transmitted using the IP network. Imagine sending a letter: you need an envelope to make sure it is delivered to its destination untouched and without delay. TCP and UDP are two kinds of envelopes you can use, and they both carry digital signals in the form of data packets. How does one differ from the other?

What are VoIP ports?

In network terms, a port is a communication endpoint used by the transport protocol to facilitate the stream of information. Every single piece of data has a destination port associated with it, and this port is associated with a number to enable the server to sort traffic and deliver the data to the correct recipient.

Port numbers range from 0 to 65535. For VoIP traffic, the standard port is 5060, which is used for both TCP and UDP connections. Consider it the gateway for VoIP functions such as media streaming and video conferencing. Often, port 5004 UDP is preferred when transmitting packets of data within a computer network.

VoIP providers use a variety of ports based on their specific product designs and requirements. They may also have a supplementary list of UDP ports for when they need to upgrade their products.

Apart from network ports, you may also need hardware ports in order to use complementary VoIP accessories. These can include headsets for devices not designed to be used like regular telephones and USB ports for USB phones.

Desk phone, computer, and cellphone connecting to network ports

VoIP hardware to maximize your internet telephone usage

As businesses all over the world continue to embrace cloud communications, you should find ways to enhance your internet phone experience. Here are some hardware that you can utilize to make the most out of VoIP technology:

FAQs about VoIP Phone

More resources about VoIP Phones

A snapshot of RingCentral notification for a phone call

VoIP Phone (Hardware)

A snapshot of RingCentral notification for an incoming phone call

How VoIP Phones Work

Message. Video. Phone. Together.
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