VoIP Phone systems reduce costs, improve time management, and increase productivity. The name simply implies, a VoIP phone system uses Internet Protocol to make phone calls rather than using conventional phone lines. Rather than using phone lines, all voice communication is converted to packets and transmitted over the high-speed Internet network. In addition, calls are routed over this high-speed network as opposed to through traditional copper wires.
To use a VoIP Phone system, you must have an Internet connection. VoIP providers offer many packages that include installation, equipment, phone numbers, and phones themselves. There are three main types of VoIP phone systems: residential VoIP, small business VoIP, and hosted VoIP. Residential VoIP systems are meant for individuals. Business VoIP and hosted VoIP are more appropriate for businesses.
Residential VoIP Phone systems are popular choices among homeowners.
These VoIP phone systems connect over a conventional telephone network. The analog voice signal is converted to digital information for transmission over the Internet. An ISDN Switch-off is required to route calls between residential VoIP service providers. The analog signal is converted to digital data before it is sent over the Internet.
Small businesses that cannot afford a dedicated IT department may use a hosted VoIP system. Many small businesses are choosing hosted VoIP phone systems because they do not require installation, can be managed from a centralized location, and most providers provide round-the-clock technical support. Hosted VoIP providers offer several features that are not available with residential VoIP providers. For example, business VoIP providers usually include conference calling, which are a feature commonly found in residential VoIP providers; the ability to create and join voice conferences; automatic redial; recording of key portions of a call so that transcription can be done later; call forwarding;, and a call archiving feature.
Business VoIP is a relatively new industry, having arrived on the market less than a decade ago. Although the technology is quite similar to that used in residential VoIP, it provides a robust system that incorporates the benefits of broadband Internet connection and telephone service. A business VoIP phone system will consist of an ISDN or digital ISDN connection, which is short for inter-service digital multiplexer connections. This connection will be able to transmit phone calls in digital format, rather than the analog signal that is commonly transmitted over traditional lines.
Business VoIP service providers will offer two options for connecting to the internet:
Standard phone service and an IP phone system. Standard phone services are available at the public-switched telephone networks (PSTN), which links the analog signal with the digital one. Public switched telephone network providers (PSTN’s) are not always reliable and are subject to interruptions caused by traffic on their networks. If an IP phone system is used instead, it will be connected through an IP network, which uses its own internal backbone. IP networks are much more reliable and have excellent call quality.
An advantage of using an IP telephone system is that there is no need to maintain a physical voicemail machine. In order to use the service, a business simply needs a computer with an audio input and output device, a high-speed Internet connection, an optional microphone, and speakers that support VoIP technology. The microphone should be located near the head office so that recordings can be converted to text formats easily. Another advantage of using VoIP phone systems is that multiple phone lines can be connected to one IP network, and all the lines can be connected to the same IP network. In addition, some businesses may need a phone number to implement their VoIP technology, for which they can purchase a hosted VoIP phone system.
With the current state of the economy, businesses that utilize VoIP services have a great deal of competition, making it difficult for some companies to afford or justify the expense of a new telephone system. Fortunately, most businesses can save significant cost savings by utilizing cloud-based VoIP services instead of traditional PBX phone systems.
- Most of these companies offer unlimited local and long distance call at no additional cost.
- There are no maintenance fees, set up fees, or additional hardware costs.
- Because cloud-based VoIP services are offered on a subscription basis, they typically include maintenance and upgrade fees, making them significantly cheaper than conventional voice over IP phone services.