Can My VoIP Calls Be Listened In On?

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: September 16, 2011

One of the common concerns about VoIP is the possibility of someone listening in on a phone call. This concern exists because you don’t need to tap a physical wire – you just need a protocol analyzer that can intercept the voice packets.

Here are five methods to encrypt phone calls made through VoIP:

VPN – Small businesses that have a Virtual Private Network can use the encryption feature that is built into the system to secure phone calls. One advantage of this method is everyone at the company is protected, even travelling employees who log in from a remote location.

Internal Encryption – Many VoIP providers (such as Skype) have incorporated encryption into the phone applications. The quality of the security provided varies depending on the company.

Zfone – This is a software application that you can download to protect your phone calls. One drawback is that it requires people on both ends of the phone call to install the software in order to function.

TLS and IPsec– These are two similar methods for encrypting VoIP calls. TLS focuses on keeping the data transferred between two applications secure. IPsec does the same, but also encrypts the information on the multitude of applications running on them.

SRTP – This method creates a unique encryption key for every call that is made through the system. It also has little to no effect on call quality, so you don’t have to worry about performance issues.

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