No doubt that Phone calls are one of the most beneficial communication channels in our times. But did you know that you can make or receive phone calls without the service of your local phone company? Enter VoIP.
What Is VoIP?
VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Imagine you are using a normal phone but using the Internet instead of your local phone company. You can make and receive calls like an ordinary phone. On top of that VoIP can offer a ton of different features that your traditional telephone service may not have.
How does VoIP work?
The traditional telephone uses analog lines while VoIP needs no hardware at all. Local telephone companies always support the use of Analog phones or landlines. This is not true when it comes to VoIP. It is so simple that it does not use any other hardware.
VoIP providers send information through a high-speed internet connection. Your phone calls get converted into data and it will get sent through your Internet.
VoIP service has several advantages over traditional phone service. We will discuss that later in this article.
One of the core principles of VoIP is that it converts your audio signals into digital signals. In this way, users can make Phone Calls while bypassing the telephone company.
VoIP is a great upgrade from an analog phone system, which can be pretty old school, if you ask me.
A VoIP system doesn’t rely on traditional phone lines. Instead, VoIP transmits data over the internet and sends and receives voice calls when in use. Since VoIP can’t reach any phone on its own, a cloud-based phone provider needs to complete the call.
Using the Wi-Fi, users gain the following features:
Two types of VoIP telephones
Hardware-based VoIP phones
This kind of VoIP phone looks like a traditional hard-wired or cordless telephone. It includes similar features, such as a speaker or microphone, a touchpad, and a caller ID display. This VoIP phone can also provide voicemail, call conferencing, and call transfer features.
Software-based VoIP phones
Software-based VoIP phones are also known as softphones. They are software installed on a computer or mobile device.
The softphone user interface often looks like a telephone handset. This handset comes with a touchpad and caller ID display.
A headset equipped with a microphone connects to the computer or mobile device to make calls. Users can also make calls via their computer or mobile device. This is possible if they have a built-in microphone and speaker.
Features of VoIP
- Unlimited calling features
- Unlimited faxing
- Auto Attendant functionality
- User can select the HD Voice Quality
- It has the Unified Communications functionality
- Video Conferencing feature is also available
- Voicemail to the Email functionality
- Instant messaging (IM)
- Users can opt-in to the Group chats feature
- Video sharing Conference calling function
- Teleconferencing feature of VoIP
- User can switch between simultaneous calls at any given time
Benefits of VoIP
- It is cost-savings due to the simple setup and less hardware involved
- It is portable because you can carry it in your pocket
- It is flexible unlike traditional phones with fixed service plans
- It is very accessible because you can gain access to it anytime
- Users can use VoIP with some of the Apps or software
- Some studies have shown that it increases productivity due to accessibility
Disadvantages of VoIP
- The voice quality can get compromised depending on the strength of your Internet. (Poor Internet connection can lead tolow quality of voice calls)
- It is dependent on the strength of your bandwidth. Bad connection leads to bad call experience. Users can sometimes experience hiccups in their calls.
- It is dependent on Electrical Power. During a power disruption, VoIP will not be operational because it runs on electricity.
- Emergency calls concerns are not possible with VoIP
- It is less secure than the traditional Phone lines. Connection to the Internet means higher security risk. It is susceptible to worms, viruses, and hacking
- It is less reliable than the traditional Phone lines due to many dependencies.
Add-ons for VoIP (optional)
- ATA (Analog Telephone Adapters)
- Webcam (or computer with built-in camera)
- IP conference phone
- Online faxes
Phone Calls are useful to connect people in real-time wherever they are. Should there be a tough decision to make, people tend to prefer voice communication to any other channel.
As with many things in life, Phone Calls are evolving to VoIP. We are becoming accustomed to the benefits and convenience of using VoiP in our daily lives.
If you want to know more about VoIP you can schedule a free consultation with a CTS representative.