Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology that enables one to make voice calls using a high-speed Internet connection rather than a traditional phone line. Most people consider VoIP an alternative to their local phone carrier – one can call anybody with an internet connection without the traditional, local phone service requirements. You only need high-speed Internet and a VoIP service provider to make and manage the calls. High-speed Internet is crucial to maintain excellent call quality – it achieves this at a fraction of the expense of older telephone networks. In most situations, VoIP offers more functions than traditional telephone systems, making it perfect for enterprises of any size.
VoIP solutions turn your voice into a digital signal that can be sent over the Internet – codecs handle the conversion of audio voice signals into digital packets. Codecs can either be hardware or software-based operations. To continue our analogy, they compress the vocal signals and then encode them as digital signals – If you dial a regular phone number, the signal is transformed into a regular phone signal before reaching its destination. VoIP enables you to call from a computer, a dedicated VoIP phone, or a standard phone linked to a special adaptor. It is mandatory to have a broadband (high-speed Internet) connection – this can be easily accomplished through the use of high-speed internet services such as DSL or a local area network.
Some VoIP providers offer their services free of cost, usually only for calls to certain other VoIP subscribers. Your VoIP service may let you choose an area code other than the one in which you live. It also implies that depending on their area code and service, anyone who phones you may bear long-distance charges. Some VoIP companies, like traditional landline telephone services, charge for long-distance calls to numbers outside your calling region. Other VoIP providers enable you to call anywhere for a fixed fee for a certain amount of minutes.
There are three types of VoIP systems, which are described as:
It is a virtual communications software that allows users to make and receive calls over the Internet rather than a landline like Skype, Google Hangouts, and WhatsApp – it is suitable for start-ups and small businesses which need a powerful communication medium with extensive features.
Appropriate for large or medium-sized enterprises with the workforce and resources to create their own customized solution. It can also be utilized to preserve an outdated legacy PBX system or to have complete control over the phone system.
Ideal for small businesses – this service migrates your phone system to the cloud. Then, like a computer, each phone in your business connects to the Internet and directs all calls (even extension to extension) through the Internet.
There are typically two main types of VoIP phones, which are hardware-based and software-based.
It looks and functions similarly to a standard hard-wired or cordless telephone, with a speaker or microphone, a touchpad, and a caller ID display. Call conferencing, Voicemail, and call transfer are all features that VoIP phones can readily offer.
It is also known as softphones, software clients installed on a computer or mobile device. The softphone user interface is frequently modeled after a telephone handset, complete with a touchpad and caller ID display. A headset with a microphone connects to a computer or mobile device to make calls. Users with a built-in microphone and speaker on their computer or mobile device can also make calls.
A typical system involves the installation of a large amount of pricey equipment. PBX hardware, new phone lines, and more cable or fiber. VoIP phones can function with a single ethernet connection – Softphones may not require an extra connection.
Call charges are often substantially less expensive – the Internet is not concerned with geography. This implies that long-distance and international calls are not subject to the same premium rates. When all of your employees use VoIP, the expense of internal calls is eliminated, making it an excellent choice for firms that rely on conference calls.
Users can make and receive business calls from anywhere using a VoIP service if they have a high-speed internet connection and the application installed. Incoming and outgoing calls from anywhere will also share the same number. The entire process guarantees that you project a professional appearance to clients or consumers no matter where you speak to them.
A system can easily be extended to accommodate new workstations or phones. So, whether you have a seasonal business, are launching a new campaign, or are expanding (or downsizing) your company, you can rely on VoIP to meet your shifting business communication demands and experience enhanced productivity and efficiency.
Businesses can be more productive since VoIP allows them to interact virtually from anywhere if they have full access to a reliable high-speed internet connection. Employees can multitask without interruption, and businesses can redirect funds that would otherwise be spent on traditional phone lines to other uses. The ability to call around the world with only an internet connection can help companies save money that would otherwise be spent on flying personnel out for meetings – It can decrease the need for travel for the most important face-to-face meetings.
Because all voice-to-digital signal transfers occur in software rather than hardware, troubleshooting and maintaining a VoIP system is significantly easier. This makes system maintenance and problem diagnosis easier from the office.
VoIP surely offers several advantages over traditional landline phones. However, before you ditch your current phone service in favor of a VoIP system, be sure you have a strong internet connection that can deliver the high-quality conversations you expect. If you have limited bandwidth or don't always have access to reliable high-speed Internet, hold off on VoIP until you're in a better position.