A VoIP phone or IP phone uses Voice over IP technology to input and transfer phone calls over an IP network, such as the Internet, instead of the traditional public telephone network (PSTN). The IP-based digital telephone service uses control protocols such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP) or various other proprietary protocols. Are VoIP phones secure?
Landline telephone and VoIP security
If you’re wondering which one is the safer way to communicate – a landline or VoIP application – you must understand that none of these methods of communication are completely secure and private. Authorities can eavesdrop on your conversations in both settings. Hackers can also, but hackers find it more difficult to hack and eavesdrop on the phone line than VoIP. This also applies to authorities. Of these two methods, connections to landlines are a safer option.
Some are worried that:
- Calls can be recorded without the user’s knowledge
- Call logs can escape in the wilderness
- VoIP accounts can be hacked and criminals will have to pay huge bills that account owners will have to pay
- Regulation: Will my VoIP solution comply with the latest data protection regulations?
- Service disruption caused by a Denial of Service (or DoS) attack
- Fear that the VoIP phone software will be infected with a virus
Security threats can always be reduced, and professionally installed VoIP networks are very secure.
Use VoIP with encryption
One way to reduce privacy concerns for VoIP phone calls and text messages is to use an application and service that offers encryption and greater security. Applications such as Skype and WhatsApp use comprehensive encryption to maintain the privacy of VoIP connections.
Why landlines are more difficult to hack
Calls from landline phones send data from the source to the destination using a method called circuit switching. Before communication and transfer, a dedicated path is designated for communication between the source and destination, between the caller and the recipient of the connection. This path is called the circuit and the circuit remains closed to this connection until one of the correspondents disconnects.
VoIP connections are made by switching packets, in which voice data, which are digital, are divided into marked fragments called packets. These packets are sent through the network, which is the jungle of the Internet, and find their way to their destination. Packages may have different routes from each other and there is no pre-defined circuit. When the packets reach the destination node, they are reordered and reassembled.
The difference between circuit and packet switching explains the difference in costs between landline telephones with a public switched telephone network (PSTN) and VoIP connections, which are often free.